When TV’s Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford tied the knot, they’d already been together for more than a decade, owned a home and had son together, so sticking the usual “towels, sheets and practical things” on their wedding gift list wasn’t really necessary.
“But a lot of our friends kept going, ‘You have to have a list because we want to buy you something’,” recalls Langsford, who married Holmes in Hampshire four years ago in 2010.
Holmes wasn’t allowed to decide anything on the list, he interjects.
“Because you said to me, ‘You do it!’,” retorts Langsford. And for good reason - as if Holmes, who hails from Belfast, had been allowed a say, he admits it would the list would have included requests for posters of his beloved Manchester United, prompting a good-natured gust of laughter from his wife.
Wedding lists are the focus of the couple’s new series Gift Wrapped, which will see three engaged couples compete to win the wedding gift list and holiday of their dreams, by answering quiz trivia and questions about each other.
Langsford and Holmes, who are both 54 and live with their 12-year-old son, Jack, in Surrey, both enjoyed the chance to find out how the contestants met and got together. “Who made the first move, what was the first date like,” says Langsford.
She admits that there were moments when she found herself wondering things like, ‘What is she doing with him?’
“Then after a few rounds you think, ‘Oh actually, I can really see it, he’s really funny’,” she adds.
The hosts even found themselves being quizzed about their own marriage by the contestants too - sort of.
“Most of the contestants came up to me and said, ‘What are you doing with her?’” jokes Holmes.
“Funny, they said that to me about you,” teases Singapore-born Langsford, laughing. “How strange.”
It’s exchanges like this which have made the pair a hit with viewers on This Morning, which they’ve co-hosted every Friday and during the school holidays since 2006.
So familiar is their affectionate relationship, the way they cajole and call each other out - then in the next moment break into cackles of laughter - that often people stop them in the supermarket, greeting them like old friends, or send them messages on Twitter when they’ve been tickled by one of their “testy” talks.
“I think people feel very comfortable coming up and talking to us,” says Langsford, who’s also a regular presenter on Loose Women. “People go, ‘Oh hi’, and they start chatting and then suddenly go, ‘Oh I’m sorry, you don’t even know me’. I’m very flattered by that. I think it’s nice that people feel comfortable enough to come and chat.”
The TV duo agree that their lively sense of humour and shared values keep them close.
“We’re very opposite in lots of habits, but we’re very together on all of our core principles and values,” explains Holmes, adding, much to his wife’s amusement, “animal lust” as one of the keys to their happy marriage.
“We have this huge attraction between the two of us on a lot of fronts, including our family backgrounds and our values and the things we care about, but in day-to-day routine we would...”
“Get on each others’ nerves,” finishes Langsford, arousing a snicker of agreement from her husband.
While this may be true, the couple, who were together for 13 years before marrying, seem closer than ever and are pleased they tied the knot.
“[Before] I would have said I wouldn’t feel any different being married, because I was very happy and secure, very involved,” says Langsford, who occasionally uses the name Mrs Holmes when chatting to builders or booking tables at restaurants, she reveals.