Ruth Langsford was on hand to comfort husband Eamonn Holmes on This Morning as he became emotional on Wednesday's show. The couple were preparing to introduce a viral video of musiaian Patrick Dexter performing Danny Boy on his cello, with Eamonn explaining to viewers that the song was particularly poignant to him – not just because he is Irish, but because of its connection to his late father.
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"When you leave Ireland, this is your call back home. It's all about having to leave the country and then at one point, your sweetheart will call you back home," he explained. "Didn't your dad sing this to you?" Ruth asked.
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"He sang it to me when I went," he replied. "A lot of people sing it. So whether you're Irish or whether you're not, enjoy this."
Eamonn's father Leonard passed away suddenly in 1991
Once the video had played, cameras cut back to Ruth and Eamonn, who is visibly emotional. "Not a dry eye in the house," he said, as his wife tenderly touched his shoulder.
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Eamonn's father Leonard died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 64. The TV star recalled his tragic passing in his 2006 autobiography, This Is My Life. He revealed he had been in London over Easter in 1991, while his parents and younger brother Conor spent the weekend in their caravan in seaside town Ballycastle, Antrim.
The This Morning star pictured with his mum Josie
During their stay, Leonard became unwell suddenly while driving his wife Josie and Conor. He managed to pull over the car over on a country road, but couldn't move from the driver's seat. By chance a family friend, John Linehan, had been visiting the area and came to their aid while they waited for the ambulance to arrive.
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"When John got to the car, Daddy was still in the driver's seat. Mum had already flagged someone down who telephoned for help. Conor, loyal to the end, took on the role of an adult and was still on the back seat, leaning over holding on to his dad," Eamonn shared.
"He grew up a lot that night. Realising his distress, John steered him away from what was going on. He then knelt beside Dad. As they waited for an ambulance, John kept talking to him until he became unconscious. He tried to resuscitate him but by the time the ambulance crew got there it was too late."