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Eamonn Holmes on his favourite politician and his fall out with Anthea Turner

By Nadia Breen

Eamonn Holmes has opened up on his best memories, the worst day of his life and why Bill Clinton is his favourite politican.

In a new interview with the Telegraph, the 62-year-old also discussed his controversial fall-out with Anthea Turner.

The father-of-four has too spoke about suffering from panic attacks and the best thing he has ever done.

Read more: Eamonn Holmes tells of his trouble getting to sleep at night

Eamonn explained that the best thing about his new role at GB News is that he has the 'freedom to flourish' and how he's "edgier than most presenters".

The TV presenter said: "I say things that other people wouldn’t say – never horrendously cruel, but I can be mischievous. GB News has made me feel valued and appreciated. That’s all any of us want – but I can’t pretend it’s not tough when the alarm goes off at 2:30am in the morning."

He also described the worst thing he ever seen on TV: "When I was four years old, our family gathered around the television set to watch the funeral of John F Kennedy, the first president of Irish Catholic descent. On our wall at home we had a picture of the Sacred Heart and also a picture of John and Jackie Kennedy. I remember watching my older cousins crying."

Explaining why former US president Bill Clinton is his favourite politician, the Belfast man said: "I was impressed with Bill Clinton when I introduced him outside Belfast City Hall to speak in favour of peace in Northern Ireland in 1995. I was taken with Hillary Clinton, too. I remember thinking, 'You’re good Bill – she’s amazing.' Despite so many people not liking Hillary and all the abuse against her, I’ve found her very agreeable.

"He is a rock star. He has charisma, more than anybody I’ve ever met. Clinton has an aura about him – a very seductive aura, for many. When I interviewed Monica Lewinsky live she said in answer to a question, 'Do you know the President?' I said, 'Yes I’ve met him, but unlike you, I only shook his hand.' She has a great sense of humour, and started laughing," Eamonn explained.

Also in the interview, Eamonn explained what his favourite trips have been to date.

"The best holidays of my life have been with my children, who are now 32, 30, 29 and 20. It was a handful at the time – all bicycles, swimming and activities –but I look back on trips to Center Parcs and stays in farmhouses in Northern Ireland with great fondness."

Eamonn added how adopting a dog 'changed his life'.

"I had no interest in it, but our son desperately wanted a dog. I was cutting a ribbon for the Dogs Trust and our dog Maggie, who looks like Basil Brush, chose me. She’s lovable beyond belief.

"A dog gives you unconditional love and brings out the good in you – you hope you might actually become the person your dog thinks you are," he said.

The Manchester United fan said he reverts back to being a child when he watches football.

"It’s played a big part in my life. There are lots of things I don’t have in common with my children – politics, music, fashion – but my children, my brothers and my close friends all follow United."

Eamonn also opened up on a controversial moment in his career.

He said: "The mid-1990s I was on the front pages of the papers because of a falling-out I had with Anthea Turner. I called her 'Princess Tippy Toes'.

"It’s laughable now, but at the time it was deadly serious for both of us. Anthea and I have made up since, and we’re very good friends. It could have cost both of us our jobs, but the station probably secretly relished the publicity."

The Belfast man then told how the sudden death of his father aged 64 was the worst day of this life.

"It was a heart attack, 31 years ago. Sudden death is a massive thing to come to terms with. That person is gone, with no goodbyes. I was filming in Israel at the time and had to make my way back from Tel Aviv to London, London to Belfast. The legacy was panic attacks. Thereafter, I associated being away or travelling with hearing bad news.

"They were vicious and awful. They were diagnosed as associated with grief and I had to deal with and outgrow them over the years. There was a lot of travel in my life then, and it made me claustrophobic in aeroplanes," Eamonn said.

The 62-year-old said he had a very special relationship with his grandmother.

"I was close to my maternal grandmother Fitzsimmons, who died of breast cancer. She used to take me to feed the ducks after school.

"She had a lot of grandchildren, but she grabbed my hand one day and said: 'You do know you’re my favourite, don’t you?' It could have been the old Bruce Forsyth line, but I had a very special relationship with her."

Read more: Eamonn Holmes on how he copes with chronic pain

Read more: Eamonn Holmes praises police after being pulled over

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