Cathy Newman, 46, has become one of Britian’s most established journalists, whose successful TV career has seen her broadcast a string of major story scoops. But 2020 brought something very different to the table, a global pandemic that has brought the world to its knees and Cathy, much like her fellow presenting counterparts, has had her work cut out keeping the public informed with the latest in coronavirus news. Despite her job to cover the latest reports as they comes in, she admits one very dark moment during the crisis stuck with her and left her “welling up” on-air.
In a recent interview, the Channel 4 star recalled the moment that left her “fighting to hold it together” for the rest of the show.
“An old news editor once said to me, ‘The moment you stop feeling moved by a story, you stop being a journalist,'” Cathy remembered.
“That really hit home for me one evening in March.”
She referred to the tragic death of 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, who died after contracting coronavirus and whose family weren’t allowed to be with him in King’s College Hospital, which happened to be Cathy’s local.
With the second nationwide lockdown fast approaching, Cathy found herself thinking back the the month before the first one, where she decided to stop taking the tube over fears for her own health.
And as luck would have it, her new method of getting to and from the office became a “vital form of release” for her.
“It was late February and coronavirus was rising fast up the news agenda when I found myself packed like a sardine on the tube on my morning commute to the Channel 4 studio,” she explained.
“I was already wearing a mask because I have asthma – plus, I could see which way this story was going.
“But that day I thought: ‘If anyone on this train has Covid-19, I will definitely get it.”
She continued to tell Women’s Health: “I started cycling seven miles to and from work soon after. And what began as a necessity became a vital form of release.”
Read Cathy’s full interview in the Dec/Jan issue of Women’s Health, on sale now.
Channel 4 News airs weekdays at 7pm.