Eamonn Holmes has said his wife and This Morning co-star Ruth Langsford was even more delighted than him as he was named in the New Year Honours.
The 58-year-old television stalwart and journalist from Belfast, best known for his long career on breakfast programmes, is receiving an OBE for services to broadcasting.
The star of GMTV and Sky News’ Sunrise, as well as ITV’s This Morning, is celebrating 38 years in television.
He told the Press Association he had been keeping the secret for three weeks, adding: “Ruth was even more thrilled than I was. I think she just thought it was very well deserved.”
However, the TV star said there will be no celebrating until the investiture.
He said: “No celebrating until you make sure it’s going to happen! The big dilemma is who to bring. My daughter is a big royalist, she loves everything to do with the royal family so she’s booked her place.
“Ruth would stand aside to allow our 15-year-old son (to go), he would be very proud. We have that dilemma so three tickets would be perfect.”
Holmes, who began his career at 19 at Ulster Television in Belfast, became the youngest anchor of a TV news programme when he presented Good Evening Ulster at the age of 21.
He said: “I learned off Gloria Hunniford in Belfast and she has an OBE. It’s quite strange to take over the programme and now have the same recognition.”
Holmes moved to the BBC in 1986, but it was his move to ITV in the early 1990s that cemented his place as a titan of breakfast TV. He made his name as a newscaster presenting GMTV from 1993 until 2005, and was dubbed the king of breakfast television.
For more than a decade Holmes anchored the flagship morning programme as well as juggling game show roles, regularly hosting The National Lottery Jet Set and Sudo-Q on the BBC. Since 2006, Holmes has had a weekly Friday morning slot on This Morning with Langsford, whom he married in 2010. Following his GMTV stint, Holmes moved to Sky where he presented Sky News’ Sunrise for 11 years until 2016.
He said: “It’s recognition of a body of work. There would be very few broadcasters that have the body of work that I have had. To be on TV at 19 and host a general election at 23, it’s unparalleled and unprecedented without anybody giving you a hand up. I did it on my own merits and worked very hard.”
He continued: “The secret is reinvention.”
His other credits include Channel 5 programme How The Other Half Lives, which he presented with Langsford, a presenting role on the BBC’s Songs Of Praise, and he occasionally pops up as a guest presenter on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
Holmes said he sees the accolade as “something to push on from”, adding: “It’s lovely to have someone in authority say, ‘You know what, you do this quite well’.”