It's Strictly Breakfast for me, says Reid
Susanna Reid is looking no further than Salford after Christmas.
Despite press reports of a 'bidding war' for the presenter, who has shimmied into Saturday's final of Strictly Come Dancing amid a surge of public support, Reid insists she'll be back on the BBC Breakfast sofa as soon as the turkey and mince pies have gone down.
'My role is on BBC Breakfast,' she tells Ariel, as she joined the other three finalists and their professional partners at a press event on Thursday. 'I love that job - there's nothing else on my mind apart from Breakfast and Strictly.'
End Quote Susannah Reid
My role is on BBC Breakfast. I love that job”
Bookies favourite Reid has been combining arduous dance rehearsals in London with presenting the news alongside Bill Turnbull at Media City for the past few months. And even when the competition ends, there's the Strictly Live tour to help her fill her days.Mondays off
'Say yes to the things you want to do and then you make it work,' is the approach of the mother of three young sons.
She praises the 'incredible support' of her family and the 'fantastic' producers at Breakfast who allowed her to take Mondays off throughout Strictly's run to recover from the weekend's exertions.
'It's such a popular programme, such a massive programme, everyone understands why you'd want to be a part of it.'
Even if she didn't expect to be part of it for so long. 'When I went out to buy training clothes, I bought enough for two weeks,' laughs Reid, whose interest in ballroom dancing was piqued when BBC newsreaders did Strictly for 2011's Children in Need.
Voted the most popular BBC Breakfast presenter of all time at the turn of the year, Reid has enjoyed the backing of viewers on Strictly which has saved her whenever the scoreboard told a different tale.'A bit wobbly'
'It's hard to work out what [the public] love about each of us [finalists],' says Reid, admitting that the support has made her feel 'a bit wobbly - in a good way'.
And it will be up to the public to decide on the winner as Reid takes on fellow celebrities Abbey Clancy, Natalie Gumede and Sophie Ellis Bextor for the trophy - the first time it's been an all female final.
End Quote Mark Linsey Controller, Entertainment Commissioning
'It's a bit of a poisoned chalice, taking on a successful series, but she's embraced it and taken it up another notch.”
Clancy insists that there's no back-biting behind the scenes. 'Everyone gets on and we're all rooting for each other,' says the model. 'I want to do well for myself.'
Coronation Street's Gumede agrees: 'I've never really seen this series as a competition with other people. I can't bring to the dancefloor what Abbey, Susannah or Sophie can.''Up another notch'
Now in his 11th series, Brendan Cole admits that it's usually 'a little bit more prickly' at this stage, adding that there were 'a few more nerves' for the semis. 'No one wants to fall at the last hurdle,' he explains.
Competing for his second glitterball, the professional dancer remains enthusiastic about the show.
'I do feel like I've been here a long time,' he admits. 'But I do love being a part of the show - it's such a magnificent piece of theatre.'
With an average audience of 10.9m this series - regularly outperforming ITV's X Factor - there's little chance that Strictly will go dark any time soon.
Mark Linsey, controller, entertainment commissioning, praises new series producer Louise Rainbow. 'It's a bit of a poisoned chalice, taking on a successful series, but she's embraced it and taken it up another notch.
'Strictly is a phenomenon,' he continues, 'and this year we've brought joy and sparkle to our viewers once again.'