Steely Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid might be hard as nails when it comes to dealing with tricky co-host Piers Morgan but she’s revealed it was a different story when she came to researching her new documentary.
The mum-of-three says she was left shaken and emotional after filming her latest project – a documentary about the brutal murder of 16-year-old schoolgirl Becky Watts.
Susanna, 46, might be used to covering traumatic events calmly and professionally on her ITV breakfast show but in an emotional interview she’s revealed how the one off documentary for ITV’s Crime & Punishment season left her absolutely shattered.
“As a journalist, you deal with a lot of horror, so you develop a certain armour to switch your emotions off,” she told The Sun’s TV Magazine.
“But there are times when that armour just crumbles.”
Teenager Becky disappeared from her home in Bristol on February 19, 2015 and the case sparked a huge nationwide manhunt with the hashtag #findbecky spreading on social media.
“I think we all remember seeing those striking photos of Becky and what a typical 16 year old she was,” says Susanna who has children – Sam, Finn and Jack.
But just days later Becky’s body was found in a shed near the home of her step brother Nathan Matthews, then 28, and his 21-year-old girlfriend Shauna Hoare.
The pair, who it transpires had a sick fascination with teenagers, killed the girl and dismembered her body in their bath tub, with their behaviour surrounding the case causing police to be suspicious.
“When everyone started gathering round to help there were two people who were reluctant to come in for questioning, and you’d imagine they would be two of the first people who would want to help: her stepbrother and his girlfriend,” explained Susanna whose documentary reveals the tactics police used to catch them.
“When they eventually do go in for questioning, it emerges they are the last people to see Becky before she was reported missing.”
“It’s interesting to look back at how the police gradually find out information from the interviews, going back to the forensics – how much do you reveal to the person you are questioning? At what point are they going to decide to shut down?” said Susanna who admits that a lot of the footage was “very uncomfortable to watch.”
Susanna admitted that filming the programme gave her a new appreciation for her home life and the safety of her own children.
“It does make you go home and hug your own kids that bit tighter at night because you see the true devastation of what some parents experience,” she revealed.
“I am very grateful that I have my kids, and those simple pleasures like cooking with them or just hanging out become much more important with that in mind.”
The Murder of Becky Watts: Police Tapes is on ITV tonight at 9pm.