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Susanna Reid described her latest ITV documentary, Children Who Kill, as the “toughest challenge” of her career.

The mother-of-three said interviewing child murderers was both “upsetting” and “heart-breaking” for her.

She found it especially difficult when she spoke to American killer Joshua Phillips, who at age 14 murdered his eight-year-old neighbour Maddie Clifton and hid her body under his bed for six days.

The Good Morning Britain star told The Sun: “I have never been as ­distressed as I was filming that documentary.

“I’ve been affected by all the documentaries I’ve done but the thing about this is the child who was murdered was so young.

“I was in tears doing the interviews and I found everything about meeting Phillips upsetting, distressing and heart-breaking.”

The 47-year-old presenter also revealed that she had to take a short break after filming the documentary.

“I did find myself with a kind of emotional cloud a lot of the time,” she admitted. “It took quite a long time after I got back from the States to clear my mind.”

When Susanna returned home she hugged her children “a little tighter” after having gone through such a harrowing experience.

Later this month, Susanna will also present the documentary on taxi rapist John Worboys as part of ITV’s Crime and Punishment series.

The sex attacker is thought to have assaulted more than 100 women and was put forward for release last month after serving 10-years behind bars.

“How did he ever get considered for release?” Susanna asked. “He hasn’t served his time.

“He’s not even done a year for every woman he was convicted of assaulting or committing a crime against.

“These women have been let down at every stage of the legal process.”

Worboys, known as the “black cab rapist”, was jailed for life in 2009 for 19 offences and ordered to serve a minimum sentence of eight-years.

He was charged with one rape, five sexual assaults, one attempted assault and 12 drugging charges. His offences took place between 2002 and 2008.

Children Who Kill airs Thursday on ITV at 9pm.

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