Unable to resist a playful jibe at his wife, he adds: This house is decorated in Ruth’s taste. I’d have these couches in orange or red whereas she plays everything safe.
That’s a beautiful chair, he continues, pointing to an elegant grey seat. But who would get a chair covered in that colour? It looks like the colour of a prison uniform.
It was absolutely your taste, Eamonn, says Ruth. You sat here and chose it.
There is one thing on which the couple do agree – that they fell in love with the house the moment they walked through the front door and into the marble-floored hallway.
I was always looking at houses and lined this one up for Ruth to see, Eamonn says. Amazingly, she liked it – and we don’t often like the same things. Keeping Ruth happy is the only way. The alternative would be like never-ending purgatory.
Joking aside, Eamonn and Ruth realise that – as beautiful as their house is – it’s the people inside it who matter.
At the end of the day, a house doesn’t mean anything; it’s how you are as a person that counts, says Eamonn. The lovely thing about Ruth – which is one of the reasons why we get on so well – is that although we live in a big house, we’re not pretentious. We have no airs or graces and are as ordinary as anyone else. I treat everyone the same, whether they’re a prince or a pauper. When I met Prince Edward, I asked him how his mother was doing. The Queen had just had a knee operation and we talked about that.
I get on well with the Duchess of Cornwall, too, he adds. She came to Sky News and I gave her a hug and asked, How’s my favourite royal?’ There was a sharp intake of breath from her entourage, but she didn’t seem to mind.
The couple’s natural ease
Eamonn suggested Christmas but I said, istmas but I sa hank you but I her stay and enjoy
Ruth puts the finishing touches to some mince pies (above). She’s an amazing cook, says Eamonn. And an indulgent hostess. She doesn’t rest at Christmas, she’s always cooking and cleaning and tending and worrying and cooking again. That’s the way she is – it’s wonderful
Ive watched him suffer too long.. We both . believe it will be a new year and a new Eamonn to go. with it
with people was a major factor in the popularity of their TV show Eamonn and Ruth: How the Other Half Lives, in which they met the superrich. A second series is looking likely.
I didn’t come away envying the people we met, says Eamonn.
Well, apart from the private jet, Ruth adds. We wondered whether we would like the people or would suffer from car or house envy, but we really liked all of them and found their stories inspirational.
I’m not a materialistic person, but the one thing I would want if I were a billionaire would be a private jet, she continues. This was amazing – the take-off was fast, the landing smooth and a car picks you up on the runway.
IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH
Despite their playful ribbing, the couple are a constant source of comfort and support to each other – a quality they’ll need next year, when Eamonn faces a double hip replacement.
People said to me, You’ll know when the time is right,’ and my body is telling me that that time is now, he says. We’re going to make the most of Christmas because the new year will be a bit daunting. I’ve had nicer new years to look forward to, but overall this is not about looking forward to one year; this is about looking forward to the quality of life I should gain for many years to come.
I’ve watched him suffer with this for too long and we both believe it will be a new year and a new Eamonn to go with it, adds Ruth. I intend to spoil him rotten at Christmas. Son Jack will also be part of the healing process. He comes to me when his mum has told him off about playing on his Xbox or not putting his plate in the dishwasher, Eamonn tells us.
I’m determined not to send a man out into the world who can’t operate a washing machine, says Ruth. As a parent, myjob is to bring him up as a happy, confident young man who knows I’ll always be there for him.
Meanwhile, Eamonn and I understand the importance of investing in our marriage. So many parents focus on the children and forget about each other until it’s too late. We love and adore Jack, but we also talk about our dreams for the future.
After more than 18 years together, Eamonn and I are closer – and happier U than ever.
INTERVIEW: SALLY MORGAN PHOTOS: NICKY JOHNSTON
STYLING: ELEANOR BAKER PROP STYLING: SALLY CULLEN AT CAROL HAYES MANAGEMENT HAIR & MAKE-UP: SANDY MacFARLANE.
Ruth Langsford Photo Gallery
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