From red carpet to real life… SUSANNA REID

From red carpet to real life… SUSANNA REID: Thank goodness my sons can split their time between both parents

  • Susanna Reid said she is lucky enough to be able to work from her sofa
  • She said her usual make-up and hair routine is switched with tinted moisturiser
  • Presenter said sons were sad about not seeing friends when school cancelled

My routine these days is very different. I am lucky enough to be able to work from my sofa, one of a swelling legion of home broadcasters — from Krishnan Guru-Murthy on Channel 4 to ITV’s Robert Peston.

My usual hour-long hair and make-up routine feels like a luxury and I now make do with a squirt of tinted moisturiser and a brush of mascara. I’m hopeless at doing my own blow-dry, so I rely on straighteners to make the mop presentable. It’s not a look viewers are used to, but it’s closer to the real me.

They’re seeing where I live, too; getting a peek into people’s homes is fascinating, but I have opted for a fairly neutral backdrop of the grey-green kitchen wall and brown sofa. A glimpse of flowers, but no family photographs.

Susanna Reid said her routine these days is very different. She said she is lucky enough to be able to work from her sofa

The studio’s many cameras are replaced by my iPhone, balanced on a pile of books.

Almost two weeks after one of my sons started coughing, we are nearing the end of our isolation period. But instead of us rejoining society, the whole country is now locking down and joining us indoors.

So what can I tell you about being confined to the house? Our self-isolation is taking place over two households, as my children’s dad is also in quarantine.

When the Prime Minister said there was no visiting other family members if they weren’t in the same house, the hearts of separated parents sank. Michael Gove clarified the position on breakfast television the next morning — under-18s can still move between homes. Thank goodness, parents can still see their kids.

When schools were closed, the boys were sad about not seeing their friends on the last day — although admittedly less sad about exams being cancelled.

And I confess we haven’t yet brought in home-learning — we all need time to settle into a new normal first.

So I am letting them sleep in for now, and my suggestions of taking up ‘projects’ have been quickly hushed. Monopoly hasn’t yet made an appearance, but given the pressure on the wifi, I can see board games becoming crucial at some stage soon.

Some remarkable changes have happened though. My eldest, at 18, has requested a cheap piano keyboard for isolation, something I would never have suggested for fear of being scoffed at as a helicopter Mum.

Meanwhile, the cupboards are under pressure from bottomless teenage appetites. Like so many online shoppers, I am stumped by the shortage of delivery slots and every time I log in, more items have been removed as stores run out of stock.

I can’t bear that some people are buying up goods to profiteer, but I don’t blame families for panic-buying when items are disappearing. I don’t condemn the crowds enjoying warm weather in parks last weekend, either.

No, they’re not ‘morons’, they were trying to follow frankly confusing advice about getting some exercise. In a way it’s a relief to have an end to the confusion over how much we are allowed to go out.

Still, I will never again take for granted being able to walk around my local common. And while we all know the restrictions are necessary, I feel the despair of parents of small children who don’t have access to outside space and now can’t even go to the playground.

So, rather than castigating and demonising individuals who are simply trying to cope, I am focusing on the bright side — and, yes, there really is one. A group of parents near me has raised money to deliver free fresh meals for nurses and other staff working in critical care at my local hospital, St George’s in Tooting. More than £20,000 was raised in just four days.

And neighbours are dropping notes through elderly people’s doors offering to pick up shopping or prescriptions, or suggesting a friendly phone call.

How touching is it that football clubs like mine, Crystal Palace, are staying in phone contact with their older fans now the weekly games are cancelled?

These stories of care and compassion give me hope.

Like any disaster, this will bring out the worst in some, but isn’t it good to know it shows the best in the majority of us?

Most of all we must remember to thank the heroes: the NHS workers and all those keeping our society running. Their work is what is important right now.

And it makes sitting on a sofa all day feel like the easiest job in the world. 

Ignore trolls Lucy, they’re universally challenged  

Brilliant history student Lucy Clarke (pictured) was so proud to represent her Oxford college on University Challenge this season — until all the online trolling started.

She was subjected to revolting sexual comments, her appearance was criticised and she was called a show-off.

Lucy now says she can see why the show has a problem recruiting female contestants — of the 28 teams which have appeared this year, only five were gender balanced.

Lucy, while I understand your distress, I beg you not to let this scare you off. We desperately need women like you on TV.

Block and mute the vile messages. Let the trolls stay in the dark, while you continue to shine.

Even filming shows two months ago feels like another life now 

In these tough times, we’re all turning back to familiar favourites, so it’s no wonder Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway last weekend was the most watched show of the year.

I filmed a skit for the programme, the spoof drama Men In Brown (pictured) at the end of January. I remember chatting to Simon Cowell, laughing and sitting together. Then I was filmed at the bar with Paddy McGuinness for a party scene. Watching it back made me wince. I couldn’t silence the voice in my head shouting: ‘Keep your distance! Two metres apart!’

Susanna said she filmed a skit for the programme, the spoof drama Men In Brown (pictured) at the end of January

Thank goodness there are lots of TV shows to give us respite from the news.

My recommendation? Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness on Netflix — a true crime documentary about a big cat zoo owner. It will take your mind off the real-life mayhem for a while…

We’re potty for puppies 

Is it just my friends who have bought themselves isolation puppies? A few of them, who have previously rejected getting a dog because they’re ‘always at the office’, have decided this is the time to reconsider.

There have been moments when I’ve felt comforted by the calm presence of our black cat, Suki. 

The TV presenter said there have been moments when I’ve felt comforted by the calm presence of our black cat, Suki

We almost lost her last year, but thankfully she is still here.

Sleeping through the uncertainty, she is like a furry totem of calm in all the chaos.  

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