This Morning returned to ITV today for the final weekday instalment, and presenting the show this morning was Eamonn Holmes and Rylan Clark-Neal.
Rylan had stepped in to replace Ruth Langsford, who is grieving the loss of her sister Julia, who sadly passed away yesterday.
Beginning the show, Eamonn wanted to address Ruth’s absence, saying: “Folks, good morning and this is your Friday’s This Morning with Eamonn and Rylan. And before we get underway, let me just explain why it is Rylan and myself today.
“You may already be aware of the terrible bereavement that Ruth has had yesterday on her social media. She made this post to inform everyone.”
He began to read out the statement from Ruth but stopped halfway as he broke down and understandably struggled to contain his emotions.
Rylan then stepped in to finish reading out the caption.
“No one understands more than our friend and colleague Rylan, who’s been a great comfort to Ruth,” Eamonn continued. “And a great help by stepping in today for her.”
“And we know Ruth is watching, we are sending you all our love, we love you dearly,” Rylan explained.
“And Ruth is going to need time to deal with this completely, and so are you [Eamonn] actually for that matter,” he said turning to Eamonn. “But I couldn’t not be here today. ‘
“Rylan was the first person I phoned when we heard this news and you are a great support to Ruth in all of this,” Eamonn remarked.
Those tuning into the beginning of the show took to Twitter to comment on the sad moment.
One said: “My heart aches for Ruth and Eamonn. I’m glad This Morning are talking about loss and grief rather than not addressing why Ruth isn’t there #ThisMorning.”
“Eamonn should be at home with Ruth. The very sad and sudden loss of Julia has obviously deeply affected him, too. He needs to take time out #ThisMorning,” someone else commented.
A third wrote: “OMG Eamonn you’re breaking my heart #ThisMorning,” whilst someone else said: “My thoughts are with Ruth and @EamonnHolmes at this sad time #ThisMorning.”
This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV.