The amusing bickering between husband and wife presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford is one of the things that makes them such popular This Morning hosts.
And as well as the ITV daytime show, they are on screen with their new documentary series Eamonn and Ruth: How the Other Half Lives, in which they immerse themselves in the lives of the super-rich.
Eamonn already gets up at 4am to present Sky News Sunrise, and filming the documentary involved 18-hour days. He recently admitted a combination of sleep deprivation and his exhausting work regime would probably kill him one day.
“I worry that Eamonn takes a lot on,” Ruth says. “He’s very responsible for his family, and I think anything where you are getting up that early and then still working at 9pm is going to take its toll.
"But instead of me just going, ‘Oh, be careful, I worry about you’, I sort out his food and make sure he’s in bed on time, that he’s going to have clean sheets and a clean shirt and I’ve made a lovely dinner.
“He would grab a bag of crisps or whatever rather than make something, so I make him a juice and a breakfast box as he gets up so early and doesn’t have time. You can’t have that kind of schedule and not put the right petrol in your body.”
She adds: “I would never stop him doing the work because he loves it. He’s very good at it and he’s got an amazing work ethic. He’s not a workaholic – his work doesn’t define who he is – but he is driven.”
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To stay fit enough to cope with his tough schedule, Eamonn regularly cycles and has recently started doing Pilates classes three times a week at a health club close to the couple’s home in Surrey.
He has just celebrated 35 years on TV and while Loose Women host Ruth is certainly no slouch, Eamonn is convinced it wouldn’t be good for her to work as hard as he does.
“I know what’s important to Ruth and I know she’s not good under stress. I’m better at handling stress than she is,” he says.
“She genuinely loves being at home and she tears herself up when she doesn’t see her mother or her sister, or when she’s not standing by the side of a hockey pitch watching [their son] Jack.”
It was for that reason Ruth took some convincing to do the new show. “Not because of the show, but when you’re a couple doing this job it’s hard to juggle family life and work,” she says.
“As a professional broadcaster, it’s very hard to turn work down and it’s flattering to be asked, so your natural reaction is to go, ‘Yes, wow. That’s amazing’. But we have to work out the schedule.
“I love what I do, but my marriage and family is much more important to me than my job. My job is not my life.”
A six-part series, How the Other Half Lives is Channel 5’s most-watched show. In it, the couple investigate the lives of multi-millionaires and how people live if money is no object. Eamonn says: “I think if I had that much money I’d say, ‘Well, that’s it. I’m lying in bed all day’.
But to them, the money wasn’t overly important; it was the addiction to making money. You could see it didn’t matter if they had the nicest table or the nicest house.
“That came with it, but they couldn’t wait to start working. We were holding them back.”
But he insists: “There was genuinely nothing about their lives that made me think I would like to live like that.”
Ruth adds: “I started off thinking people were spending an obscene amount of money for a bottle of wine, but everything is relative. My mother would think it was outrageous that I spend £2.50 on a cup of coffee, but I don’t think it’s that extravagant.”
Of course, many would say that with Eamonn’s estimated £2.8million salary for Sunrise and This Morning, plus Ruth’s appearances on Loose Women, they can’t be badly off.
Both 55, they have one of the strongest marriages in showbusiness, but insist neither wears the trousers at home. “It’s a joint effort,” Eamonn says. “I manage the house. I make sure the garden’s done, the windows are clean and bills are paid.”
Ruth says: “And I do the home-making – cooking, the cushions, making the bed.” Eamonn jokes: “I see to the things she’s not interested in. I’m a much better organiser. Ruth is a flibbertigibbet.”
One department where Ruth does take the lead is when laying down the law with their son Jack, 13. She says: “In terms of the type of boy we would like Jack to be, we are very much on the same page. We want a well-balanced boy who isn’t spoiled, who is kind and has a happy life. But I’m the disciplinarian.
“I would go, ‘Jack, get up stairs, I’m fed up with you’. Eamonn would go, ‘Son, son, you know what your mother’s like but, listen mate, you do have to do your homework’. And that works very well.”
Eamonn adds: “I see the bigger picture. Ruth comes from a military background and everything has to be done at a certain time. I’ll say, ‘Ruth, he can’t do his homework now because the match is about to start, but he can do it at 6pm’. I negotiate.”
And there is more work on the horizon. A radio station has just offered Eamonn a series of one-to-one interviews, and he hopes in the future to do documentaries about old movie stars.
BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull recently announced he was quitting, but Eamonn has no interest in his role. “I’ve got the best job. Why would I want that? I couldn’t work on Bill Turnbull’s salary, no, no, no,” he laughs.
“I already have my dream job. I can’t tell you how happy I am at Sky.”
While retirement is certainly a long way off for the duo, Ruth knows she will enjoy it when it happens. She says: “I’d like to work for as long as television will have me, and I think people like me are flying the flag for older women on screen, but Eamonn and I do think about retirement and how we would live.
“I have a very happy marriage and love spending time with my husband. A lot of people worry that suddenly they’re going to be together all day and wonder how that’s going to be.
“But I’m thoroughly looking forward to the day when we don’t have to get up for work and can just go for a walk on the beach, or take the dog for a walk.”
How the other half lives
In Eamonn and Ruth: How The Other Half Lives, the couple investigate the lifestyles of the uber-rich including Russian billionaire Emin Agalarov.
A businessman and pop star, Emin is heir to a multi-billionaire pound property empire. Father Aras is known as the Donald Trump of Russia and owns parts of Moscow. Emin takes Eamonn on his £30million private jet to show him around his Moscow mansion, worth around £25million, which he has slept in only a handful of times. In London, home is a £10,000-a-night hotel suite.
Meanwhile Ruth meets London-based wedding planner Elizabeth Aisien. Her clients include rich Nigerian couples who buy £100,000 bespoke dresses and £150,000 of champagne, plus wedding favours such as £350 cashmere scarves and £5,000 watches for 3,000 guests.
- Eamonn and Ruth: How the Other Half Lives, 9pm Tuesdays, Channel 5.
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Students were evacuated from Heaton Manor school after a fire on Monday.
Firefighters called to the building on Jesmond Park West in Newcastle said no-one was hurt, but police have launched an investigation.
Headteacher Karen Blackburn said: “We can confirm that an incident took place today, which resulted in the school being evacuated for a period of time.
“Students behaved in an exemplary manner and were later returned to the building, where lessons resumed as normal.
“This incident is currently under investigation by the police and therefore we are unable to make further comment.”
A spokesperson for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: “We attended and extinguished a fire. There was nobody injured, and we are supporting police.”
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "At about 11.20am today, January 29, police received a report of a fire at Heaton Manor School.
Emergency services were called to the scene and the fire was extinguished very quickly. A police investigation is ongoing and no one was injured. Anyone with any information is urged to contact police on 101 and quote reference number 354 29/01/18."