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Watch: Eamonn Holmes through the years on Sky News Sunrise as presenter bows out after 11 years

Eamonn Holmes on Thursday morning ended his long-running stint as host of the Sky News flagship breakfast programme, Sunrise.

The Belfast man announced he would be departing as the anchor of the show after 11 years and some 3,000 hours of programming.

The 56-year-old Belfast man made his name at ITV where he presented GMTV for 12 years and was dubbed the king of breakfast television before making the switch to Sky in October 2005.

After undergoing a hip operation this year, the former UTV journalist said he was quitting the show to concentrate on other television projects.

For more than a decade Holmes anchored the flagship breakfast programme as well as juggling gameshow roles, regularly hosting the National Lottery and a weekly Friday morning slot on ITV's This Morning with wife Ruth Langsford.

He was often dubbed the busiest man on television.

And managing several jobs sometimes took its toll. In 2010 the avid Manchester United fan got stuck in traffic as he rushed from Sky to ITV forcing Richard Madeley - who was set to appear as a guest - to turn back the clock and fill in alongside Langsford until Holmes arrived.

And the presenter missed Sunrise completely last year after becoming stranded by fog which grounded his London-bound flight.

 

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Eamonn Holmes:Tv Presenter/celebrating his fourth birthday at the family home on New Lodge Road

Eamonn Holmes:Tv Presenter/celebrating his fourth birthday at the family home on New Lodge Road

Eamonn Holmes:Tv Presenter/celebrating his fourth birthday at the family home on New Lodge Road

Eamonn Holmes:Tv Presenter/celebrating his fourth birthday at the family home on New Lodge Road

On ITV's Telethon in 1988. Eamonn stepped in at the last minute when original anchor Gerry Kelly, fell ill.

On ITV's Telethon in 1988. Eamonn stepped in at the last minute when original anchor Gerry Kelly, fell ill.

Eamonn Holmes has apologised for This Morning's gaffe

Eamonn Holmes has apologised for This Morning's gaffe

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Kate Middleton is pictured aged five.

Kate Middleton is pictured aged five.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now the owners of a cocker spaniel puppy

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now the owners of a cocker spaniel puppy

Kate Middleton, before scaling  to the heights of Baroness Carrickfergus and Duchess of Cambridge, pictured aged three on a family holiday in the Lake District.

Kate Middleton, before scaling to the heights of Baroness Carrickfergus and Duchess of Cambridge, pictured aged three on a family holiday in the Lake District.

Nadine Coyle of  Girls Aloud fame during hers days at Thornhill College

Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud fame during hers days at Thornhill College

A bit grainy but there's no mistaking Nadine Coyle's smile at Thornhill College in 1996

A bit grainy but there's no mistaking Nadine Coyle's smile at Thornhill College in 1996

Nadine Coyle

Nadine Coyle

Nadine Coyle/Girls Aloud.

Nadine Coyle/Girls Aloud.

Liam Neeson ... can you spot the Ulster schoolboy who was destined for great things? Next picture solves the mystery.

Liam Neeson ... can you spot the Ulster schoolboy who was destined for great things? Next picture solves the mystery.

Liam Neeson, pictured during his Ulster schooldays... centre of back row.

Liam Neeson, pictured during his Ulster schooldays... centre of back row.

Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson

PA

Jimmy Nesbitt and family during the Seventies

Jimmy Nesbitt and family during the Seventies

Jimmy Nesbitt - the cheeky grin being perfected at a young age

Jimmy Nesbitt - the cheeky grin being perfected at a young age

Jimmy Nesbitt

Jimmy Nesbitt

Liam Neeson is said to be in talks to reprise his role as retired CIA agent Bryan Mills

Liam Neeson is said to be in talks to reprise his role as retired CIA agent Bryan Mills

PA

Lara and Zoe Salmon

Lara and Zoe Salmon

Zoe Salmon

Zoe Salmon

Zoe Salmon

Zoe Salmon

Lara and Zoe Salmon

Lara and Zoe Salmon

Old School pictures: Saddle up - a very young Gerry Adams

Old School pictures: Saddle up - a very young Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams says it is important that the historic handshake between the Queen and Martin McGuinness is seen as more than just a gesture

Gerry Adams says it is important that the historic handshake between the Queen and Martin McGuinness is seen as more than just a gesture

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Seamus Heaney as a past pupil at Annahorish Primary School in Toome.

Seamus Heaney as a past pupil at Annahorish Primary School in Toome.

Seamus Heaney...Irish poet Seamus Heaney, 1995. (Photo by Steve Pyke/Getty Images)...Ent

Seamus Heaney...Irish poet Seamus Heaney, 1995. (Photo by Steve Pyke/Getty Images)...Ent

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Belfast Telegraph

BBC presenter Stephen Nolan.  Pic by Ian Magill.  1/10/09.David O'Dornan interview.

BBC presenter Stephen Nolan. Pic by Ian Magill. 1/10/09.David O'Dornan interview.

Ian Magill

Down the years....Stephen Nolan - Belfast Telegraph's Old School pictures

Down the years....Stephen Nolan - Belfast Telegraph's Old School pictures

A young Stephen Nolan.

A young Stephen Nolan.

PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 IAN PAISLEY AS A 12 YEAR OLD BOY

PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 IAN PAISLEY AS A 12 YEAR OLD BOY

PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 Rev Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen      Date unknown

PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 Rev Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen Date unknown

27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST.  The Rev. Ian Paisley poses with fellow clergy before  the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER

27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley poses with fellow clergy before the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER

A young Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins

A young Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins

73. Someone once threw a petrol bomb at Alex Higgins and he drank it!

73. Someone once threw a petrol bomb at Alex Higgins and he drank it!

Paul Cousans

Young Alex Higgins front left.jpg

Young Alex Higgins front left.jpg

Old School Pictures - from Daniel ODonnell (above) to Nadine Coyle

Old School Pictures - from Daniel ODonnell (above) to Nadine Coyle

Old School pictures: Young Daniel O'Donnell - what's that on top of the gate post?

Old School pictures: Young Daniel O'Donnell - what's that on top of the gate post?

Daniel O'Donnell: Irish Country Singer 1985

Daniel O'Donnell: Irish Country Singer 1985

Daniel O'Donnell will crown the 2003 Mary of Dungloe on Sunday, August 3

Daniel O'Donnell will crown the 2003 Mary of Dungloe on Sunday, August 3

Taking off: Paddy Ashdown doing the high jump at Garth House School, Bangor in 1950

Taking off: Paddy Ashdown doing the high jump at Garth House School, Bangor in 1950

An Audience with Paddy Ashdown

An Audience with Paddy Ashdown

George Best  pictured with other prefects at Lisnasharragh High School, Belfast, 1961. George is pictured second left, centre row.

George Best pictured with other prefects at Lisnasharragh High School, Belfast, 1961. George is pictured second left, centre row.

George Best, centre,  at Lisnasharragh High School in 1961.

George Best, centre, at Lisnasharragh High School in 1961.

http://photosales.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/media/ljVDYEisysnph1buZfa8NA..a

http://photosales.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/media/ljVDYEisysnph1buZfa8NA..a

George Best

George Best

Photopress Staff

Darren Clarke back in 1985 as part of the Fred Daley Team

Darren Clarke back in 1985 as part of the Fred Daley Team

Darren Clarke back in 1985 as part of the Fred Daley Team

Darren Clarke back in 1985 as part of the Fred Daley Team

British Open Champion Darren Clarke at his local bar the Bayview Hotel with the Claret Jug

British Open Champion Darren Clarke at his local bar the Bayview Hotel with the Claret Jug

Darren Clarke  1985 in his Junior Ireland Blazer

Darren Clarke 1985 in his Junior Ireland Blazer

SANDWICH, ENGLAND - JULY 17:  Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland holds the Claret Jug following his victory at the end of the final round of The 140th Open Championship at Royal St George's on July 17, 2011 in Sandwich, England.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

SANDWICH, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland holds the Claret Jug following his victory at the end of the final round of The 140th Open Championship at Royal St George's on July 17, 2011 in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Ross Kinnaird

Eamonn Holmes:Tv Presenter/celebrating his fourth birthday at the family home on New Lodge Road

The Northern Irishman signed a five-year contract at Sky in 2013 but announced his intention to leave last month via a post on his Facebook page. He called anchoring his own breakfast show "the stuff of boyhood dreams" but said that it is time for him to step down due to "having so much to do but little time to do it".

He said: "Anchoring my own breakfast show for 11 years has been for me the stuff of boyhood dreams. It was the job I hoped to do as a young Belfast lad - and because of Sky News I got there.

"Forty-five years plus on I have other dreams, and to achieve them I realise that unfortunately I need to step away from the daily studio commitment for a while.

"There is an addiction to a live breaking news studio environment... it is a habit I have to suppress."

His approach was revealed as "very much 'be yourself'" by former co-host Charlotte Hawkins, who credited Holmes with developing her career before she made the move to Good Morning Britain two years ago.

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Eamonn’s first job on Farming Ulster

Eamonn’s first job on Farming Ulster

May McFettridge and Eamonn Holmes in 1988

May McFettridge and Eamonn Holmes in 1988

Eamonn in The Crown Bar in 1989 for BBC’s It’s My City programme

Eamonn in The Crown Bar in 1989 for BBC’s It’s My City programme

Eamon Holmes' father Leonard

Eamon Holmes' father Leonard

On ITV's Telethon in 1988. Eamonn stepped in at the last minute when original anchor Gerry Kelly, fell ill.

On ITV's Telethon in 1988. Eamonn stepped in at the last minute when original anchor Gerry Kelly, fell ill.

Eamonn Holmes with wife Ruth Langsford

Eamonn Holmes with wife Ruth Langsford

Eamonn Holmes on crutches

Eamonn Holmes on crutches

Eamonn with Christine Bleakley on the Big Bumper Science Quiz

Eamonn with Christine Bleakley on the Big Bumper Science Quiz

Eamonn as a UTV cub reporter

Eamonn as a UTV cub reporter

Eamonn’s first job on Farming Ulster

However, it has not all been plain sailing for Holmes. Earlier this year he had to apologise after being accused of comparing an attack on the Manchester United team bus by West Ham supporters to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which led to deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.

In stepping down, Eamonn will end his run as the longest serving breakfast news anchorman in Britain.

He will continue to host ITV's This Morning on a Friday along with Ruth as well as other television projects.

There has been speculation that the couple may want to spend more time together away from the studio after years of gruelling schedules.

Belfast Telegraph