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21 June 2019, 11:10
Ruth Langsford announces yesterday that her sister Julia had died following a long illness.
Eamonn Holmes broke down in tears while presenting This Morning today, after telling viewers that his wife Ruth wouldn't be joining him because her sister has sadly passed away.
The 59-year-old TV presenter read out a heartfelt tribute tweet that she wrote yesterday, and added: "Let me just explain why it is Rylan and myself today. You may already be aware of the terrible bereavement Ruth has had yesterday on her social media.
"She made this post to inform everyone and she said, 'My lovely sis Julia has died after a long illness.
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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.
"'My heart is completely broken. She was the kindest and most gentle soul ...' "
As Eamonn struggled to control his tears, his co-host Rylan Clark-Neal took over reading.
He said: "'And I'll miss her forever as I am sure you will appreciate I need to take him to grieve. Thank you for your understanding.' "
Eamonn added that he was grateful to Rylan for stepping in, adding: "No one understands more than our friend and our colleague Rylan, who has been a great comfort to Ruth and a great help by stepping in today for her."
And Rylan said that he 'couldn't not be there', saying: "We know Ruth is watching and we are sending you all our love, and we love you dearly. And Ruth is going to need time to deal with this.
"And so are you, for that matter. But I couldn't not be here."
And Eamonn replied: "Thank you. Rylan was the first person I phoned when we heard this news, and you are a great support to Ruth on all of this."
The duo revealed that producers had chosen 'bereavement' to be a subject on the show, saying: "Because of what Ruth has gone through, we thought it might be an appropriate time to talk about a loved one."