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Susanna Reid (born 10 December 1970) is an English journalist and presenter, best known for presenting BBC Breakfast.

Early life[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The youngest of three children, Reid was born in CroydonSouth London to an English father of Scottish ancestry, who worked as a management consultant, and an English mother who worked as a nurse. Her parents separated and divorced when she was aged 9.

Reid was educated at the independent Croham Hurst School, Croydon from 1975–81, where comedienne Sue Perkins was amongst her classmates, followed by the independent Croydon High School (1981–87) and St Paul's Girls' School (1987–89) in London. Reid studied Politics, Philosophy and Law at the University of Bristol (1989–92), where she was editor of EpiGram, the university's student newspaper, when it was short-listed for Best Student Newspaper in 1991 The Guardian/NUS student journalism awards. She then undertook a Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from the Cardiff School of Journalism.

Broadcasting career[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Reid started her career at BBC Radio Bristol and then became a reporter for Radio 5 Live, as well as a producer.

She then joined BBC News 24 where she spent two years as a reporter. When the 23:00 presenter didn't turn up one night, she became a stand-in presenter for an hour (while three months pregnant with her first child), which turned into a permanent position. Before going on maternity leave, she presented on the BBC's online interactive service. Reid then spent three months doing charity work in Sri Lanka, before becoming a reporter for Breakfast News. After a second maternity break, Reid became a presenter on the BBC News channel.

Reid is one of the main presenters on BBC Breakfast, presenting alongside Bill Turnbull on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and previously presenting alongside Charlie Stayt on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. She has held her current role since 2012, when she replaced Sian Williams. In 2010 she stepped down from presenting Breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays to take a role on a new programme Sunday Morning Live. As of the final episode of the first series on 21 November 2010, she resumed her weekend presenting duties on BBC Breakfast within 2 weeks. In light of the move of BBC Breakfast to MediaCityUK in SalfordGreater Manchester, and existing Monday to Thursday presenter Sian Williams deciding to stay in London on other programmes, in April 2012 Reid had taken over Williams' position as a main weekday presenter, alongside Bill Turnbull.

She was also previously the regular newsreader during the headlines on The Andrew Marr Show, On 16 May 2010 she stood in briefly for Andrew Marr, for the Sunday newspaper review, when he arrived late for the programme after interviewing the new Prime Minister David Cameron. Reid handed back to Marr following the paper review.[7] Reid presented the main show for the first time on 10 March 2013 following Marr's extended absence after suffering a stroke in January 2013.[8]

On 6 February 2009, Reid made a swift, off-the-cuff apology, while hosting Breakfast with Charlie Stayt, when a wrongly-cued, uncut audio clip of Hollywood actor Christian Bale, featuring the shouted line "You don't fucking understand!"was played on air. This was broadcast live at 06.55 on BBC1 in the UK. The clip was cut immediately and Reid's gasps were audible during and immediately after the clip.

On 22 February she presented the BBC's live coverage of the 2009 Oscars from Los Angeles. She also presented coverage of the 2010 Oscars on 7 March.

In 2010 the BBC received complaints about Reid's apparent cleavage-revealing clothing, and behaviour, accusing her of 'flirting' and 'behaving like a schoolgirl on her first date', during an interview with Hugh Grant. Reid replied, "I'm always sorry when people don't like what we do, but I have come to accept that you can't please all of the people all of the time. However, after breastfeeding three children, I'm amazed that people think I still have a cleavage worth complaining about". Press reports regularly mention that Reid has gained a large male fanbase on the internet, due to her good looks and supposed 'revealing clothing', who post videos of her online with one video where, according to the Daily Mail, "Viewers noticed that the presenter's nipples had become clearly visible through the flimsy top", gaining over 200,000 hits.

In February 2010 the press again discussed Reid after she wore a reportedly 'sexy ultra-tight dress', which drew much comment from her internet fans. Reid later defended her clothing, saying that after appearing regularly on TV she realised she 'had to raise my game if I was to look good presenting' and that her 'curvy' figure was suited to fitted clothing. Susanna has even been described as a 'sex symbol' and its been claimed that her 'raunchy' clothing has attracted many more males to watch the BBC Breakfast Show.

Although she denies dressing in a purposefully revealing manner she commented, "Perhaps it is because I am approaching my birthday and I’m in a more celebratory mood" when asked about a particular choice of clothing which drew much comment on social networking sites. In an interview with the Radio Times Reid dismissed those critical of her 'spicy' clothing-choices saying, "People seem to be shocked that women have breasts" and said she chose clothes and necklaces that were not "too distracting".In July 2012 the men's magazine FHM featured a small article on Reid; describing her as the "middle-aged minx of the week", highlighting her continued popularity and asking why she is considered attractive. Similarly the popular international Web portal AskMen named Reid 40th in a list of the 99 'Top Women' of the UK in 2013, representing her growing national and international fame. Responding to her new status as a 'sex-symbol' Susanna has appreciated some of the attention and popularity she has gained on social media sites and revealed that she has a 'thick skin' which allows her to "take on board what is useful and ignore the rest" on the internet.

Reid's popularity amongst viewers was shown in February 2013 when she came first in a poll on the most popular BBC Breakfast presenter since the show first aired thirty years ago, she gained over 50% of the votes cast beating her nearest rival by over 35%. Reid's status as a 'sex-symbol' and her popularity amongst male viewers was confirmed when she was voted into FHM's 'Worlds sexiest 100 women list' at number 96 in May 2013. Alongside this male fans also voted her into the top ten of Zoo Weekly's 'Britain's sexiest mum' poll in 2013, highlighting her popularity amongst male viewers and her rising status in the media.

In September 2013 it was revealed that Susanna Reid is to take place in series 11 of Strictly Come Dancing.

Acting[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Reid appeared as an actress, with Shirley-Anne Field, in Agatha Christie's Spider's Web in 1982, and then in 1985 alongside Harriet WalterPeter BarkworthAdrian Dunbar and Derek Thompson in 'The Price' on Channel 4.

Charity interests[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Reid is a regular contributor to Media Trust, the charity which links other charities to the media industry, and has hosted events for the Myotubular Trust and Voluntary Arts England. In 1998 she worked for three months in Sri Lanka as a voluntary media consultant for a charity which counsels victims of the civil war and operates orphanages and social development programmes.

Since 2008 she has also been part of the annual BBC's Children In Need "Newsreaders performance." During the 2011 charity night, she took part in a Strictly Come Dancing competition, along with three other BBC newsreaders. Reid and her professional dance partner, Robin Windsor won the competition.

On 22 April 2012 Reid took part in the London Marathon, raising money for Sports Relief. She completed the course in just over 5 hours.

Personal life[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Reid lives in LambethSouth London, with her longtime partner, former sports correspondent Dominic Cotton. Although not married, the couple have been together since 1998, and have three sons.

Reid is a pescetarian, something she discusses occasionally in her Saturday morning banter with chef James Martin when commenting on the dishes on his following programme, Saturday Kitchen.

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