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Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
New GMTV deal for Holmes
Eamonn Holmes
Eamonn Holmes presents BBC One's lottery show
National Lottery presenter Eamonn Holmes has signed a new three-year contract with breakfast television broadcaster GMTV.

The 41-year-old presenter, who has been with the station since it launched in 1993, had reportedly been approached to join the BBC.

He already hosts The National Lottery Jet Set for the corporation, and is filling in for Simon Mayo this week on Radio Five Live, and had put himself forward as a possible replacement for Sir Jimmy Young on Radio 2.

But Belfast-born Holmes said he was "happy, contented and excited" by his new deal with GMTV.

He added: "This has been the most important contract of my career to date.

Eamonn Holmes
Holmes has been with GMTV since it began in 1993
"After 22 years as a broadcaster, 10 of them at GMTV, one has a sense of where one belongs, and GMTV have reassured me that together we're a team."

Children

His current contract with the breakfast broadcaster would have ended in six weeks.

Holmes has three children from a previous marriage, while girlfriend Ruth Langsford gave birth to his son Jack in February.

"We have reached an agreement whichg helps me spend the time I need to in Belfast with my children and family, whilst taking into account the time I need with baby Jack and Ruth in London," he said.

"When my children are off school I shall be with thm and that makes all of us very happy, contented and excited about the next three years."

'Unique'

GMTV managing director Paul Coreley said he was "delighted" to have completed the deal with Holmes.

"Eamonn has a unique ability and a huge popular following. He brings great warmth and humour to our output as well an ability to handle anything that is thrown at him," he added.

The deal is thought to be worth a six-figure sum each year.

Holmes began his broadcasting career at Ulster Television, and hosted the ITV company's nightly news programme at the age of 21.

In 1986, he launched BBC One's daytime line-up by presenting phone-in show Open Air, before becoming a sports presenter on Breakfast News.

See also:

29 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
Big Breakfast bows out
29 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
Toasting the end of The Big Breakfast
04 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
Slow start for new-look This Morning
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