Eamonn Holmes has 'other dreams' on horizon as he calls time on Sky News
Eamonn Holmes has said he was left "humbled and heartened" by messages of support after he surprised TV viewers yesterday by announcing his departure from Sky's Sunrise programme.
After anchoring the news show for 11 years, the Belfast-born presenter said it was hard to say goodbye but he now had other dreams.
With his hectic schedule reduced, it means Eamonn and wife Ruth Langsford will be able to spend more time together after he underwent a double hip operation at the start of the year following years of pain.
"Exciting times!" tweeted Ruth last night.
Posting on his Facebook page he said: "Anchoring my own breakfast show for 11 years has been for me the stuff of boyhood dreams. It was the job I hoped to do as a young Belfast lad - and because of Sky News I got there.
"Forty-five years plus on I have other dreams, and to achieve them I realise that unfortunately I need to step away from the daily studio commitment for a while.
"There is an addiction to a live breaking news studio environment. However, after more than 3,000 hours of programming it is a habit I have to suppress."
And last night he added he would still be on our screens for a while.
"Been a strange old day. Humbled and heartened by all the goodwill but obviously still sad to be leaving Sky News - though not until October 13."
In stepping down, he will end his run as the longest serving breakfast news anchorman in Britain.
Eamonn will continue to host ITV's This Morning on a Friday along with Ruth.
There has been speculation that the couple may want to spend more time together away from the studio after years of gruelling schedules.
Eamonn commented: "Increasingly in life I have found myself in the fortunate position of having so much to do but little time to do it.
"This seems an opportune moment to change that.
"Going forward, I will now produce and present a number of documentary projects which I have been stalling for some time, as well as continuing my work with ITV and Channel 5.
"There is so much going on and I realised it was now or never."