By Ellie Iorizzo and Connie Evans, PA
Eamonn Holmes has spoken about his controversial departure from ITV after winning news presenter of the year at the Television and Radio Industries Club (Tric) Awards.
The veteran broadcaster said he was “very proud” and it “means a lot this year particularly” – referencing the ITV announcement in November that he was exiting the channel after 15 years hosting This Morning alongside his wife Ruth Langsford.
It was later revealed that Holmes would move to GB News, where he hosts the channel’s new Breakfast With Eamonn And Isabel programme.
— TRICawards (@TRICawards) July 6, 2022
During a winner’s press conference, he said: “I did not resign from ITV, ITV resigned from me.
“I never received a single explanation once of why they wanted rid of me, no matter what you have been told.”
Speaking about his first day at GB News, he added: “I walked into the newsroom, I stood up and they applauded me. It doesn’t get any better than that, it was very emotional.
“It was nice to belong. It was nice to feel that you have a role to play. You don’t become any less of a broadcaster because you get older.”
During his winner’s speech at the annual ceremony in Grosvenor House in London, the 62-year-old was heard to say: “Good Morning Britain we’re coming for you.”
Later, when he was asked whether he thought GB News had a chance of overtaking the ITV show, especially without Piers Morgan, he said: “Oh God yes.
“No (I don’t think their standards are slipping), I just think our standards are amazing. We are the people’s channel.”
Holmes added that he predicts GB News will overtake the ITV morning breakfast show “hopefully next year”.
He said: “Our audience has gone up six-fold. We regularly beat Sky News and Sky News has been in existence for 35 years, I’ve been there (at GB News) for six months.
“It’s like sport, there’s no point in taking part if you don’t want to win. There has been a lot of groundwork, we’ve worked very, very hard. There’s no point doing what you do unless you want to win.”
Holmes beat Clive Myrie, Victoria Derbyshire and Stephen Dixon to claim the news presenter of the year award on Wednesday.
He added: “I think you’re very lucky to work in television… I was 10 years of age and I wanted to be a news anchor. I am a news anchor. Forty-two years later, I’m still winning awards, which is good.”