Eamonn Holmes says he looked like ‘Quasimodo’ at son’s wedding
Eamonn Holmes, 61, has detailed his battle with shingles in 2018 and how he was struck with the virus on his son Declan’s wedding day.
During an appearance on Loose Women on Thursday, he spoke about his health battle which left him unable to work on This Morning three years ago. He also shared images of his puffy face covered in marks and scabs during his battle.
Shingles is a viral rash caused by varicella zoster virus, the virus which causes chickenpox, being reactivated. In the UK, 90 per cent of adults have had chickenpox, so will have this virus lying dormant in their nervous systems.
As the picture of Eamonn’s face was shown on screen during his Loose Women appearance, the TV host said: ‘This is me with shingles looking like Quasimodo there and as you can see from that, it’s quite brutal.’
Pained: Eamonn Holmes , 61, has detailed his battle with shingles and how he was struck with the virus on his son Declan’s wedding day (Eamonn shared the above image from three years ago on Instagram on Wednesday)
He continued: ‘You’ll say, ‘How on earth did you get that?’ Well, if you’ve had chickenpox and you’ve had the virus, it’s there in your system and there’s a very high chance – 60% chance or so – that you too will have shingles.’
Eamonn shares children Declan, 32, Rebecca, 30, Niall, 28, with his ex wife Gabrielle and son Jack, 18, with current wife Ruth Langsford.
On the show on Thursday, he explained the impact the condition had and detailed how his image was ravaged by the side effects on his son’s wedding day.
He said: ‘That was at a time when my eldest son – my only son to get married. That was the first marriage in the family and that was what I looked like on the wedding day and I had to have that covered up…
Pained: During an appearance on Loose Women on Thursday, he spoke about his health battle which left him unable to work on This Morning three years ago
His boy: Eamonn shares children Declan, 32, Rebecca, 30, Niall, 28, with his ex wife Gabrielle and son Jack, 18, with current wife Ruth Langsford (Declan pictured)
‘So you can imagine, I ruined all the pictures, I didn’t want to be in them. I didn’t want to be the centre of attention with all this…
‘But the timing was awful. The dangerous thing about mine was that if it’s on your face, it can affect, maybe impair your eyesight.’
In an interview with i, Eamonn spoke about the horror he felt when he was stricken,
He said: ‘It was like some hideous movie, where you feel your face and you go, ‘What’s that?’ I remember going to the bathroom mirror and jumping back in horror. I had no idea what the symptoms were or why you would even be vulnerable to it.
Shock: He showed the impact the virus had on his face
The happy couple: Eamonn’s son Declan and his wife Jenny are pictured on their wedding day
‘I had no idea whether I had had chickenpox at all, so I had to go and ask my mother.’
Later in the day, he shared an image on Instagram and added the caption: ‘Thank you to @itvnews and @loosewomen for letting me get the message about #Shingles Awareness across. As you can see I had it 3 years ago – and u don’t want to…
‘Check out UnderstandingShingles.co.uk funded by @Gsk #AD’.
Eamonn’s discussion comes after he revealed he 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 Eamonn after claiming he had ‘sacrificed fatherhood for fame’ – and he was not afraid to confront her over it when they met in an airport.
SHINGLES: DISEASE CAUSED BY SAME VIRUS AS CHICKENPOX
Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox, the herpes varicella-zoster virus, and causes a painful rash which develops into itchy blisters.
It is an infection of a nerve and the skin around it which can also make people feel unwell for several days before any rash appears.
Most people carry the virus dormant after suffering from chickenpox as a child, but it can be reactivated in later life to cause shingles.
There is currently no cure for the disease and in most cases the painful rash lasts between 7 and 10 days, although it can take two to four weeks to fully heal.
The disease can also lead to complications such as postherpetic neuralgia, which is when severe nerve pain lasts for more than three months after the rash has gone.
Estimations suggest this affects at least 1 in 10 people with shingles, although it is more common in older people.
Awkward: Eamonn’s discussion comes after he revealed he 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
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.
Family: Broadcaster Eamonn, 61, shares children Declan Rebecca, 30, (right) Niall, 28, with ex wife Gabrielle and Jack, 18, (left) with current wife Ruth Langsford.
‘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.
Close: The star slammed Anne’s comments and protested that he is always there for his children (pictured with daughter Rebecca)
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