Ruth Langsford was forced to introduce a This Morning segment alone after her husband Eamonn Holmes was late back from the toilet due to his back pain.
Eamonn was only able to hobble during the show after chronic back pain has left him having sleepless nights, and he has received an MRI scan and been undergoing physiotherapy.
He was using a stick to help him walk, and Ruth explained it was slowing him down, meaning he inadvertently arrived back late after an advert break.
Ruth began: “Hello, welcome back to This Morning, now those of you who follow Eamonn on social media will know he has been talking a lot about chronic pain.
“And it’s ironic now that he is not here, because he’s had to nip to the loo, because it takes him so long walking and he is on his way back.
“Here is here any minute, there he is,” she added, as Eamonn hobbled over using a walking stick and sat back down.
“It takes him longer to walk, but he is here now,” Ruth said.
At the start of the show, Eamonn explained: “Those of you who follow me on social media will know, about a month ago I did something to my back, I don’t know how I did it, getting into the car, getting out of a car, getting out of bed, whatever.
“I’ve got an MRI scan, but the trouble is, everything closes for Easter, I haven’t got it analysed yet, but what I do know is, I can’t sleep at night.
“The pain is absolutely worse at night, the humbling thing is when you go on social media and you talk to people who suffer from this, age isn’t a barrier, where you live isn’t a barrier, how much you earn isn’t a barrier.”
“A lot of people are struggling,” said Ruth.
Later in the show, Eamonn and Ruth were discussing Line of Duty’s DS Steve Arnott, who has a painkiller addiction following a horror beating.
Ruth admitted she does not want Eamonn to start taking painkillers, as they will not fix the root of the cause, and there is potential for addiction.
Ruth remarked: “That’s the danger, isn’t it? And you can totally understand it, because nobody wants pain.
“So you take the painkillers, think that’s a bit better, then they wear off and the pain is back. If the pain is still there, then the painkillers aren’t actually working, are they? Getting to the root of the cause.”
Eamonn said: “I think it’s very important if you live with someone, if there is someone in your house who can understand what you’re going through.
“Understandably, Ruth doesn’t like painkillers for anything really, a headache.”
Ruth replied: “Not really, I’ll take them for a headache, but I try not to. But also it’s very hard, to watch someone you love in so much pain when you feel helpless.
“You can’t really do anything.”
Eamonn asked: “But if the tablets would help me, why wouldn’t you let me take them?”
Ruth answered: “Because then I would worry about you taking too many of them. So it affects your partner, it affects families, you can’t join in with things.
“It’s a really difficult one.”
* This Morning airs weekdays on ITV at 10am