Eamonn Holmes: My Life In Media

"You have to make yourself accessible. I never understand reporters who speak like daleks."

he host of BBC1's National Lottery programme, Jet Set, and Sky News' Sunrise, Eamonn Holmes, 46, grew up in Belfast. He worked for Ulster Television before spending 12 years on the GMTV sofa alongside Anthea Turner and Fiona Phillips. He also hosts weekend shows on Magic FM and BBC Five Live and has written his autobiography, This is My Life, which divulges the secrets of his acrimonious relationship with Turner. He has four children and lives in Surrey with his partner Ruth Langsford, with whom he has guest-presented This Morning.

What inspired you to embark on a media career?

The Troubles in Northern Ireland were the big news story in the world and I became fascinated by it at the age of 11. If you were growing up in Belfast in 1970 and said you wanted to be a reporter, people laughed.

When you were 15, what newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?

In the morning we got the Irish News, a broadsheet for Catholics. In the evening we got the Belfast Telegraph, which was a middle-class Protestant paper. It would not have been unusual in aspiring Catholic families to take these two papers, but it was in working-class Catholic families, of which we were one. I read them cover to cover.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

I was and remain a real TV buff. I watched everything and I learnt from it. I watched Horizon, Blue Peter, John Craven's Newsround and The Sky at Night - I'm fascinated by Patrick Moore. As a 10-year-old I watched Panorama, This Week and World in Action. I also adored Starsky and Hutch, Kojak, The Sweeney, Charlie's Angels and The Six Million Dollar Man. I was of the first generation to be telly-literate.

Describe your job.

It's not really like work. Although I work hard, it's easy for me. It's about the variety, keeping pace with the daily agenda.

What's the first media you turn to in the mornings?

Radio Five. But if it's not a work day I would listen to music, because I've realised that if you're a journalist, where everything's driven by the news agenda, your brow becomes furrowed.

What's on your iPod?

Everything; Johnny Cash, Sugababes, Pussycat Dolls. I've just put The Da Vinci Code on, and there are all sorts of autobiographies, like Terry Wogan's.

What media sources do you consult at work?

I check the Sky News website and flick through the papers. For questions for Jet Set it's hard to go past the Daily Mail. It's got sports coverage, whatever Middle England's outraged about, features and health sections.

What is the best thing about your job?

The variety and the topicality. I am one of the few people who's allowed to do news, sport and light entertainment.

And the worst?

Constantly being judged. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has an opinion.

How do you feel you influence the media?

You have to make yourself accessible. I never understand reporters who speak like Daleks.

What's your proudest achievement in work?

Surviving. In a business where most people wouldn't last 26 months I've survived 26 years.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

They're clocking up. It's between interviewing David Blaine and him saying nothing for five minutes, and Fathers for Justice invading Jet Set on Eurovision night. They were very aggressive. David Blaine was one of those all-time telly bloopers where you didn't know if he was jet-lagged, diabetic or had too much to drink.

At home, what do you tune in to?

The best invention ever made is Sky+. I always watch Jon Snow on Channel 4 News, a bit of Richard and Judy or Paul O'Grady and some football. I probably won't go to bed until I've watched Newsnight.

What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

I read my column in the Sunday People, "Man of the People". I flick precariously through the rest of them. I read Condé Nast Traveller and Stuff.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire

I was named after Eamonn Andrews who did This is Your Life. It would be nice to present it.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Des Lynam at his height. Dawn Airey, the controller of Sky, because she is not only dynamic and industrious but a rare commodity: a very human and considerate person.

The cv

1980: Joins Ulster Television in Belfast as reporter

1982: Hosts UTV's tea-time programme, Good Evening Ulster

1986: Moves to BBC Daytime as it is launched, is poached to host Open Air

1990: Juggles the BBC's breakfast news, sports reporting and the Holiday Programme

1993: The first face and voice on GMTV. Stays for 12-and-a-half years, surviving a falling out with co-host Anthea Turner

2000: Gets Saturday night lottery show, Jet Set

2005: Leaves GMTV after demanding a huge pay rise and joins Sky News' Sunrise programme

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Life and Style
Duchess of Cambridge standswith officials outside of the former wartime spy centre in Bletchley Park
tech
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'