Real-life couple Ruth and Eamonn celebrated their first wedding anniversary last month with a day out in London with their nine-year-old son Jack, where they enjoyed an open-top bus tour and a trip to see the musical We Will Rock You.
The presenters, both 51, were in a typically candid and playful mood as they spilled the beans on why being married gives them the edge over other presenters, plus who is on their interview wish list, and why they love balmy evenings…
Hi, Ruth and Eamonn. Are you looking forward to another summer working together?
Ruth: “It’s going to be great, we always have a good time! This is our fourth year now and obviously we present regularly on This Morning through the year, but summer has a slightly different feel to it. People are on their holidays and off school so everybody’s relaxed.”
Do you travel into work together?
Ruth: “We travelled to the studio together once and only once. When Eamonn first started, he said, ‘I might as well come with you.’ But I know what he’s like with time and said I don’t think that’s a good idea because you’ll make me late, but he promised he wouldn’t. On the day, I was downstairs at 6.45am waiting with the driver and Eamonn was nowhere to be seen. I paced around for five minutes then went upstairs and he was in the bath! In the bath!!”
Ruth: “By the time I got him in the car I was already 45 minutes later than normal and the traffic was horrendous. Then he had the air conditioning and radio on and I like silence. We argued all the way to work and we’ve never done it again! We come home together, but never in together because it’s too traumatic!”
How does working with your spouse compare to working with other presenters?
Eamonn: “It’s more natural. It’s very, very difficult to work with a co-presenter because most of them are only interested in what they want to do; they’re rarely interested in being a proper team. Therefore there tends to be a falseness about what they do. I care about Ruth’s input in interviews and she cares about mine. I often sit back in admiration when she makes a point, thinking to myself: ‘That’s a really good question, darling!'”
Ruth: “Because we are a real couple we know so much about each other, I know what things that do and don’t interest Eamonn, what he loves to talk about and what embarrasses him, and vice-versa. So if an interview is going in a certain direction where I think Eamonn isn’t happy then I’ll take it over, and he’ll do the same.”
Do you have to lay ground rules about what you will and won’t talk about on-screen? We’re guessing on occasions it’s easy to let too many details about your home life slip…
Eamonn: “We could be paired with any amount of co-hosts and therefore you expect a little bit extra because we’re husband and wife, and by and large they get it!”
Ruth: “And I think that’s fair enough. Also, we’re always asking viewers things like, ‘Does your husband do this?’ It’s a very interactive show and you can’t ask people to tell you their stories, if you’re not prepared to give a bit about yourself. Of course, there’s a limit to what we talk about, but that’s the same for any couple.”
Eamonn: “Partly, at the start of this experience, I’d have liked to have sat down, made rules and talked about boundaries…”
Ruth: “How boring!”
Eamonn: “…but Ruth just clouds over. We don’t discuss an interview or anything prior to going on, even to the point, I have to say, TV Times, I say to Ruth in the morning, ‘What are you going to wear?’ And she replies: ‘I have no idea.’ She does it deliberately, even if she has an inkling she’s not going to tell me…
Ruth: “Do you know why, TV Times? Eamonn says he likes to compliment what I’m wearing by wearing a similar tie – and I hate that, I find it so twee! So I lie. I say I’m going to wear a pink dress and then turn up in a blue one!”
Is there anyone you’d still love to interview?
Eamonn: “Kate Middleton, Pippa Middleton and Mrs Middleton – it’d be very nice to chat fashion with them!”
Ruth: “I’ve still got Billy Connolly on my list. We went to see him recently and I honestly nearly wet myself laughing! He’s such an interesting, clever guy. He doesn’t seem to do many interviews but if he’s reading this, ‘Billy, please come on This Morning!’”
Finally, you’re our cover stars again this week. You’ve been on quite a few now, do you keep them?
Ruth: “Of course! We haven’t got them framed or anything in the downstairs loo, but I keep all of them, as does my mum. Hopefully one day I might have grandchildren and I’ll say, ‘Look I was on the front of TV Times once’ and I think that’s a lovely to be able to say.”