Eamonn Holmes once told Anne Robinson he would’ve ‘knocked her head off’ if she was a man – after she criticised his parenting.
The acid-tongued TV presenter, 76, previously riled Eammon after claiming he had ‘sacrificed fatherhood for fame’ – and he was not afraid to confront her over it when they met in an airport.
Broadcaster Eamonn, 61, shares children Declan, 32, Rebecca, 30, Niall, 28, with ex wife Gabrielle and Jack, 18, with current wife Ruth Langsford.
Awkward: Eamonn Holmes (left with wife Ruth Langsford) once told Anne Robinson he would’ve ‘knocked her head off’ if she was a man – after she criticised his parenting
Speaking about his kids on RTE One’s The Meaning of Life show on Irish TV, he said: ‘This is the man who went into an airport lounge one Sunday morning, very, very early in Belfast, and there was one other person in that lounge and it was Anne Robinson.
‘I walked over to her and I simply said, very coldly and heartfelt meant, ‘If you were a bloke, I would knock your f**king head off. I just want you to know that.’ ‘
The star – who co-presents This Morning with his wife Loose Women star Ruth, 60, during the summer months – slammed Anne’s comments and protested that he is always there for his children.
Reputation: The acid-tongued TV presenter, 76, previously riled Eammon after claiming he had ‘sacrificed fatherhood for fame’ – and he was not afraid to confront her over it when they met in an airport
Family: Broadcaster Eamonn, 61, shares children Declan, 32, Rebecca, 30, (right) Niall, 28, with ex wife Gabrielle and Jack, 18, (left) with current wife Ruth Langsford.
He added: ‘This is coming from a man who would fly back from London for his kids’ school sports days, who would take the last flight out of Belfast at 10 o’clock at night when he’d tucked them up in bed at 8pm, you know, who just was there for them all the time at every need for them.’
Eamonn admitted the Countdown presenter insisted he take a seat next to her on the flight and apologised for her comments.
He said: ‘Subsequently, Anne Robinson then asked me to sit beside her on the plane and I thought twice about it and I sat down beside her, and we had a very enlightening conversation, a very sensible conversation, and she apologised.
Close: The star slammed Anne’s comments and protested that he is always there for his children (pictured with daughter Rebecca)
‘What can you do when someone apologises? You are left with a choice whether you forgive or don’t forgive, and I decided to forgive her?
‘I’m a good father. No matter how old my children are – they’re 32, 30, 28 and 18 – I check in with them. I do my best.’
Also on the show Eammon broke down in tears as he paid tribute to his late father Leonard 31 years after his sudden death. He died of a heart attack whilst driving at the age of 64.
He also recalled how his mother Josephine once urged him to let his dad give him some money in order to feel needed.
In the heart wrenching clip, Eamonn said of his tactile and incredibly generous dad: ‘He’s been gone 31 years now but I still miss him every day.
‘I can’t recall my late father without thinking of how he always wanted to provide… even when I had a successful career. I think like all of us he just liked to be needed.’
Describing a vivid memories of his dad, while choking back tears Eamonn said: ‘All he did was give us a big hug, or whatever…
‘All he did was say things like: “Do you need any money?” I was on Ulster Television, earning £12,000 a year. He wasn’t earning £12,000 a year or anything near it.
‘One day my mum said: “Let him give you some money”. I did. I was like “yeah dad” and he’d give me twenty quid.’
Eamonn also admitted the hardest part about losing his dad so suddenly was being unable to say goodbye.
He is one of five brothers – Conor, Brian, Leonard and Colm – whom he previously described as his ‘best friends’.
Devastating: It comes after Eamonn broke down in tears on Sunday night as he paid tribute to his late father, 31 years after his untimely death