Ruth Langsford has called out the unfair depiction of stepmothers in the media in a candid discussion on her relationship with husband Eamonn Holmes's three children.
“It is interesting how it’s always the stepmothers who are portrayed as the wicked or evil stepmother,” she said, in response to Kirstie Allsopp’s criticism of the character of the stepmother in Cinderella, which will return to the Westend in April 2021.
The 60-year-old went on to reflect on her own relationship with Holmes’s grown-up children, who she claims never address her as their ‘stepmother.’
“I am officially a stepmother, although they don’t call me that.”
Ruth added that she often makes light of the stigma, jokingly referring to herself as ‘wicked’ in cards and letters. “I actually sign things, ‘From your wicked stepmother.’ It’s like a term of endearment in a way.”
The TV star, who shares an 18-year-old son with Holmes, explained that she does not believe in the hardline approach to parenting that is often associated with stepmothers.
“I always think a stepmother has to be very nurturing actually.”
Ruth also revealed the specific challenges facing stepparents. “It’s a very difficult balance and a fine tight rope you’re walking,” she said.
Fortunately for Ruth, being maternal comes naturally.
The TV star has always been close to her son, Jack, who recently moved away to university. She was initially distraught by his departure, unable to even step inside his empty bedroom.
“The first week I felt like I’d had my womb ripped out,” she admitted to Hello! last autumn. She has managed to adapt to his absence, maintaining regular contact with him during this particularly difficult time.
“He’s being really chilled about it all and coping – he’s even cooked something. So that’s a good sign,” she revealed. “He sent me a picture of his stir fry.”