ENTERTAINMENT
10/06/2020 09:16 BST | Updated 10/06/2020 10:01 BST

Ruth Langsford Says She Almost Quit TV Career After Sister Julia's Death

The This Morning presenter said husband Eamonn Holmes helped her realise she still had lots to celebrate.

Ruth Langsford has said she almost quit her TV career following the death of her sister.

The This Morning and Loose Women presenter was left heartbroken last year when her sister Julia Johnson took her own life. 

Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Ruth Langsford

Ruth has now told of how she felt it would be “disrespectful” to her sister to appear “cheery on screen” again.

Speaking to Best magazine, she said: “Following my sister Julia’s death last June, I didn’t feel I could ever go back to work again. It seemed wrong to be cheery on screen, when, inside, my heart was breaking.

“I just thought being ‘happy’ would be a lie - and disrespectful to my only sibling.

“I had no motivation or desire to be in the public eye.“

Ruth revealed that her husband and co-presenter Eamonn Holmes begged her not to give up on her career, giving her – what she called – one of his “talks” a month after Julia’s death. 

Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Ruth with husband Eamonn Holmes

She said: “Eamonn pointed out that he was, in effect, losing not one, but two of the most precious people in his life - Julia and me.

“He showed me how I had so much to live for in Julia’s memory - and beyond.

“Julia had a terrible illness - depression. He pleaded with me not to let it win, by ruining everything I had achieved - and still had to celebrate.”

Ruth announced news of her sister’s death last June, writing on Twitter at the time: “My lovely Sis Julia has sadly died after a very long illness. My heart is completely broken. She was the kindest and most gentle soul and I will miss her forever.

“As I am sure you will appreciate I need to take time to grieve with my family. Thank you for your understanding.”

She later took some time away from her TV commitments, as Eamonn continued to front This Morning on Fridays with guest presenters including Rylan Clark-Neal.

Ruth and Eamonn are currently appearing on Celebrity Gogglebox together, although their time on the show got off to a bumpy start last week when Eamonn blasted bosses for an “idiotic and cruel” edit

The presenter was unhappy that a story about his father’s death was left out of the show and a light-hearted anecdote used in its place, following scenes showing the couple watching the BBC’s Ambulance programme.

Gogglebox later issued a public apology to Eamonn and re-edited the show for its catch-up service and future broadcasts.

Useful websites and helplines

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).

CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.

The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email help@themix.org.uk

Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.