RUTH LANGSFORD and Eamonn Holmes are back rubbing shoulders with some of the richest people on the planet this week.
And at least a couple of things have come out of the experience for Ruth. She’d be too scared to try to follow in their footsteps – but she wouldn’t half mind her own plane!
Eamonn & Ruth Do Dubai is the latest of their How The Other Half Lives series – this is the third and a fourth is on the way – where they travel the globe meeting those you’d hate to have to buy a present for as they really do have everything.
“They were actually very nice people, which was a bit of a surprise, to be honest,” Ruth, 57, tells iN10 after another lively show with Eamonn, 57, on This Morning.
“I thought they’d be arrogant and rude because they can have whatever they want.
“We were completely wrong – bar one who ended up on the cutting room floor because he was just so rude.
“They were extraordinarily nice. They let us into their homes and their lives and we weren’t setting out to be sneery or judgmental.
“I wasn’t going to be saying how awful their furniture was or go poking around in their bathroom cabinets.
“They’re driven people, a different breed, really. I now realise to make big money like that you need to be a risk-taker, and that’s definitely not me.
“I’m very safe with my money and my savings. Eamonn and I are from very modest backgrounds.
“Eamonn was brought up in a council house and my dad was a soldier in the army and I travelled around with him, so neither of us is from wealthy families.
“We’ve worked hard for anything we have. Don’t get me wrong, we love our work, but we could have done less.
“We like to buy nice things and enjoy what we earn, but we do have that careful streak.”
Eamonn, insists Ruth, is the one who’d splash the cash a bit more, painting us a picture of a driveway full of James Bond-type cars if he thought it possible.
But while she says she was happy to come home after filming, shut the door and accept it was simply another life, the private jet was the one indulgence she could get used to.
“I never thought I’d get to fly in one and I’ve done that a couple of times now. It was so nice. Airports are horrible, feeling like cattle as you’re herded along.
“The private jet experience was incredible and if I had a lot of money – and you’d need it because they are staggeringly expensive – that’s the thing I’d really desire.
“I don’t like flying but I felt really spoiled.”
And the one life lesson Ruth learned from their How The Other Half Lives shows might just ensure her fans continue to see plenty of her.
“If you’d asked me before we started those, I think we’d have said that we’d look to set a time to take a break and relax.
“But I’ve changed my mind completely. When we’ve mentioned retiring to many of the entrepreneurs, they look at you like it’s a dirty word.
“I’ve seen this excitement they have to still be working. I still love what I do and as long as somebody’s willing to employ me I’m happy to go on.”
As well as their time together on the glitzy Channel 5 show and This Morning sofa, Ruth and Eamonn work apart plenty, too.
It’s nearly 20 years since she first appeared on Loose Women. She’s dotted in and out over the years and is now a regular anchor.
It’s a programme she has a lot of affection for and as it involves having plenty to say, that’s never a problem.
“I think I’m a fair person and it takes a lot to make me angry.
“But I do stand up for myself and I have very strong beliefs.
“I’m not afraid to voice my opinions and you become more confident as you get older.
“No two days on Loose Women ever feels the same. It depends on which four women are on, who the guest is, what the talking point is that day.
“You’re never sure what you’re walking into in the morning. It might come out of one of us being cross about something, or maybe something one of our kids has said.
“Women relate to it as it’s like sitting down with your girlfriends.
“I have a small group of female friends I’ve had for a long time and discussing problems with your girlfriends helps women get through an awful lot in life.
“Long may it continue. I love Loose Women.”
That sharing and discussing of absolutely anything can work in the confines of your own home, over a coffee or a glass of wine.
Doing it to millions in front of a battery of TV cameras in the middle of the day, is something else altogether.
“I always think of my mum and Eamonn’s mum,” confides Ruth.
“So if we’re having a discussion about something that might be awkward, I’ll temper my language.
“A second before I speak I’ll think about how I’m going to say it, but we don’t shy away from things.
“And we will warn when we’re going to discuss something tricky in case viewers have young children around.”
Ruth and Eamonn are known as one of the hardest-working couples on telly and it’s obviously very much a marriage where no one has the leading role.
“It’s always extremely equal,” says Ruth, who has 15-year-old son Jack with Eamonn. “We both work and we both take our turn looking after Jack and the house.
“Eamonn’s a very modern man and I never feel that I’m expected to be at home or ‘Where’s my dinner on the table?’
“Sometimes people say we argue on the telly, but we don’t really.
“We’re not going to have a full scale row on TV. I find it strange people mention that, because disagreeing is what couples do.
“You don’t have to agree with all of the other person’s views. That’s boring. Our core values are very similar and that’s what keeps us together.
“It’s great we do have our own projects, though, and don’t work together 24/7. That’d drive me mad.”
Ruth’s time on the ITV This Morning sofa, like Loose Women, goes back a long time.
While they are very much a duo, she admits wasn’t always the way it was seen in the early days, with people thinking she’d been employed as she was his girlfriend.
That’s all changed now, of course, and they’ve become an instantly familiar duo.
So, away from the TV studio, what’s home life like?
“Not very different,” laughs Ruth. “I take it as one of the biggest compliments that friends say we’re just the same as we are on TV – except we’ve got nicer hair and make-up on TV.
“It all comes back to our values. I’ve brought Jack up to be respectful and have good manners.
“And also to know he has a privileged life we’ve worked hard to provide. When he was young we didn’t push him forward for anything.
“He was very aware we were on TV, but we don’t live a showbizzy life. Now he’s older, I am aware of what he might think about what we say and do on TV.
“We try not to embarrass him too much – he especially hates it if I dance.
“If I pretend to be down with the kids on TV he’s like, ‘Mum, really, that’s not funny’.”
Eamonn & Ruth Do Dubai, Monday, Channel 5, 9pm.