Eamonn Holmes fought back tears as he introduced This Morning without his wife, Ruth Langsford, by his side, following the death of her sister.
Langsford, who co-hosts the ITV morning programme on Fridays alongside Holmes, was replaced Rylan Clark-Neal.
Opening the programme, Holmes was visibly upset as he told viewers: “You may already be aware of the terrible bereavement that Ruth had yesterday on her social media.
“She made this post to inform everyone…”
He started reading Langsford’s social media post, but his voice cracked and he was unable to finish, prompting Clark-Neal to step in.
Holmes said: “No-one understands more than our friend and our colleague Rylan, who has been a great comfort to Ruth and a great help by stepping in today for her.”
Clark-Neal said: “We know Ruth’s watching, and we’re sending you all our love, we love you dearly. And Ruth’s going to need time to deal with this, and so are you, for that matter.
“But I couldn’t not be here today.”
Holmes added: “Rylan was the first person we phoned when we heard this news, and you are a great support to Ruth in all of this.”
Langsford, 59, posted a picture of herself with her sister on social media on Thursday, showing them sitting in a field and smiling, with their arms around each other.
She said: “My lovely Sis Julia has sadly died after a very long illness. My heart is completely broken.
“She was the kindest and most gentle soul and I will miss her forever.”
Langsford told her fans she is taking time to grieve with her family.
ITV confirmed she will take a step back from presenting duties as a regular host on This Morning and on lunchtime programme Loose Women.
Many of Langsford’s colleagues and friends shared their condolences at the time, including Gemma Atkinson, who appeared on Strictly Come Dancing with her in 2017.
Atkinson tweeted: “I’m so sorry Ruth. Sending lots of love to you all.”