While Belfast broadcaster talks animal noises with dance show star
Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford have revealed that their first ever date was to a Riverdance show – but their romantic evening rendezvous ended in a slight tiff.
The pair were talking on Thursday’s This Morning as they watched a troupe of dancers from the internationally acclaimed Irish dance and music show perform a stunning outdoors routine.
As the cast geared up to perform, the married presenters discussed the significant role Riverdance had played in the early days of their relationship.
Paying tribute to the dancers, who performed in full costume in sweltering heat, Eamonn said: “Not only does it make me proud to be Irish, but it reminds me of my first date with Ruth."
“Riverdance, yeah," said Ruth, confirming their first get together.
She then continued, laughing: “It was a good date though we had a little tiff afterwards. Who knew?!"
The couple, who began dating in 1994, are renowned for their onscreen back-and-forth banter and light-hearted bickering.
Ruth asked her husband if he had ever learned Irish dancing, but he told her it wasn’t something he had done.
“Unfortunately, I didn't because in my day we thought 'What would you want to do that for?',” said Eamonn.
“Then Riverdance came along and it became the sexy thing to do."
Eamonn and Ruth then talked to the two leads and the Belfast man was delighted to hear that both dancers, Amy-Mae Dolan and Jason O’Neill, come from Northern Ireland.
While 23-year-old Amy-Mae hails from Aghyaran in Co Tyrone, Jason, 34, is from north Belfast, where Eamonn also comes from.
When Jason explained that he grew up near Belfast Zoo, Eamonn said: “The Antrim Road? Yes, I know it,” before discussing whether or not Jason had ever heard animal noises emanating from the zoo.
Eamonn later revealed that both he and Jason had also attended the same school, St Malachy’s, prompting Ruth to quip that they were probably related.
Following the performance, Calum Best took to Twitter to praise the Irish dancers. He wrote: “Go on @Riverdance thoroughly enjoyed that #thismorning.”
Belfast singer Brian Kennedy also posted: “So proud of our @Riverdance stars on @itvthismorning with @eamonnholmes and @ruthlangsford happy 25th anniversary and so excited for your tour news.”