Ruth Langsford has said she is “heartbroken” following the death of her sister after a long illness at the age of 62.

The TV presenter posted a picture of herself with her sister Julia on social media, showing them sitting in front of a field and smiling, with their arms around each other.

Langsford wrote: “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.”

She added: “As I am sure you will appreciate I need to take time to grieve with my family. Thank you for your understanding.”

Langsford, 59, will take a step back from her TV presenting duties, including This Morning, which she hosts on Fridays alongside husband Eamonn Holmes.

An ITV spokeswoman said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with Ruth and her family at this incredibly sad time.

“As Ruth has said she is taking time to grieve and she has our full support.”

She is also an anchor on lunchtime ITV programme Loose Women.

Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes
Langsford is married to Eamonn Holmes (PA)

Many of Langsford’s colleagues and friends shared their condolences, including TV star Kate Thornton, who wrote on Instagram: “Oh Ruth, I’m so sorry to hear that. Thoughts are with you and sending all my love x.”

Gemma Atkinson, who appeared on Strictly Come Dancing alongside Langsford in 2017, tweeted: “I’m so sorry Ruth. Sending lots of love to you all.”

TV presenter Melanie Sykes posted: “Oh Ruth I’m so sorry x sending you so much love.”