Eamonn Holmes hits back at ITV's claims This Morning viewers 'didn't like him anymore' before axe

EAMONN Holmes has hit back at an ITV insider's claims he became unpopular with This Morning viewers before he was axed.

His reps said they refuse to believe "research" had shown his popularity had waned before he was dropped by ITV after 15 years hosting This Morning with wife Ruth Langsford.

The claims were made by an "ITV insider" last night, but today Eamonn hit back through a representative, who fumed: "It is simply not true that research showed that viewers no longer wanted to watch Eamonn Holmes.

"Research has actually showed Eamonn rated better than others who replaced him on This Morning."

The InterTalent agency rep added to HuffPost: "I don’t believe an ‘insider’ said anything that was official as ITV have always behaved with great respect to InterTalent."

It comes after the veteran presenter blasted station bosses in a recent interview with the Daily Mail, accusing them of being "sly" and hypocritical over his departure.

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"I'm all for TV companies being able to choose who works for them, but it would be nice if you were told why you were going.

"They're sly. They didn't want to announce that I'd been dropped because it would adversely affect audience figures, so they made it look as if I'd walked away from them rather than the other way round."

Following his outburst on Friday, an ITV "insider" insisted executives carried out an extensive analysis which found that Eamonn's popularity had dramatically decreased.

They said the findings prompted programme chiefs to axe him from his weekly Friday slot alongside his wife Ruth Langsford, replacing them with Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary.

On Friday, Phillip also blastesd former co-star Phillip Schofield after his wife Ruth made an official complaint about her colleague.

Speaking about their time on This Morning, Eamonn said: "Phillip is renowned for snubbing people.

"He's very passive-aggressive. It's up to Ruth to say how she felt, but I was feeling hurt for her. No one would have snubbed me like that.

"I have a good Belfast street fighter in me… I would be direct. I don't go for presenters who think they have a special privilege or aura or influence."

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