The daytime telly broadcaster – who joined the show a decade ago but also worked with the late star on Open Air until her move to ITV in 1988 – revealed the tragic news as he stepped in when his partner was struggling to make it through the opening segment.
Eamonn – who has been absent from the show as he recovers from double hip replacement surgery – said: “I wanted to come in today, because obviously I’m off on sick leave at the time, but I have brought my crutch. We have to tell you today that our beloved Denise Robertson has lost her battle with cancer.”
Ruth admitted: “It’s a very difficult day for us.”
In a statement revealed on air, her family said: “It is with the deepest possible sorrow that we announce the passing of a very great lady.
“Our dearest Denise Robertson lost her short battle with cancer today at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.