When we asked Eamonn for an interview at the tail–end of last year to talk to him about his roots he immediately said ‘yes’. He was friendly, down to earth and couldn’t have been more helpful.
The old saying goes – ‘never meet your heroes’, and while it’s fair to say Eamonn probably isn’t a hero, he is definitely a bit of a legend!
He’s a man comfortable in his own skin, who embodies his roots perfectly.
“I don’t know many things about myself in life. I’m not really sure whether I’m particularly good at certain things but whatever the question marks are that I have about me in life, the one thing I know is that first and foremost, I am a Belfast man!
More than anything else – I am a Belfast man first, a Northern Irish man second!”
It’s that sense of ‘being’ Eamonn is talking about that is important to most people – particularly people from Northern Ireland.
Whether you identify on a town, county, city or country level there is one thing that people from here love about home – the sense of community.
“If I was to miss one thing it’s the sense of community I have there that I don’t have here.
“We don’t see it when we’re there because its second nature to us but when you’re somewhere like London people will be surprised at your friendliness, surprised at your humour, surprised at your work ethic.”
It’s those final three traits that Eamonn alludes to, friendless, humour and work ethic that he credits for the success he’s had in his career.
Growing up in Belfast as a child, fascinated by watching the city he lived in ‘on the news’ he decided that he wanted to be the one telling the stories. So he did, (so he did).
Six months into a fledgling journalism career, an opportunity arose at UTV.
“I had to go and audition as a farming reporter. Farming led to sport, which led to news at UTV at the height of the troubles which was an intense apprenticeship and the most amazing apprenticeship that I could possibly ever have had.”
Pouring himself into the opportunity, Eamonn went on to become the youngest news anchor on ITV or BBC networks at the tender age of 21. A record that still stands today (according to Eamonn).
He’s enjoyed a varied and successful career to date – hosting and presenting the likes of GMTV, The National Lottery show, a range sporting events as well as hosting his own radio show on BBC 5live.
Eamonn has been involved in some classic TV moments – including this one below which he cites as being the most awkward of his career.
Eamonn Holmes on Northern Irish Connections.
I don’t think you can underestimate what Northern Irish Connections are trying to do. It has to be a good thing to bring more of us together, like–minded people with a shared background and experience.
We should take the best of our background that has formed us forged us, motivated us, educated us in so many ways, made us canny, made us shrewd, made us humorous, made us sociable. Whatever – for Northern Irish Connections get people together, be part of your own and be involved in that diaspora. It’s a marvelous, marvelous thing.