TV presenter Susanna Reid's plans for going abroad this summer were on hold today after a passport backlog at the Home Office put paid to a two-week family holiday.
The presenter of ITV’s breakfast show Good Morning Britain had planned to go away with her three sons during her two weeks off from the show, but after putting off renewing her son’s passport until the start of July, like thousands of others, she did not get the passport back in time to fly.
Speaking to The Mirror she said: “I remember reporting on Good Morning Britain about the backlog of passports back in June.
"We were inundated with viewers comments - both from those who were experiencing the back log and others asking ‘who are these people that leave their passports until the last minute’ .. Well I am one of them!”
Reid says she sent the passport off on 9 July, but after three weeks there is still no sign of it.
She said: “Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since it arrived at the passport office and It hasn’t arrived and its completely my fault. I was well aware of the problem.
“Thankfully I hadn’t booked anywhere - I knew there was no point in risking not being able to go.”
The Home Office has been struggling to deal with a demand for passport renewals that Home Secretary Theresa May said had “substantially exceeded” the department’s forecast this summer.
Since then, extra workers have been brought in to deal with the backlog that has seen some travellers waiting up to two months for their passports to be returned to them.
According to the Home Office, there are currently 360,000 passports being processed, down from a peak of 508,000 at the end of June.
Despite the hiccough, Reid remains upbeat about her holiday plans and is looking forward to a ‘staycation’ with her boys.
She said: “So we have opted for a ‘staycation’ and have been so lucky with the weather.
“I am staying at home with the boys. It couldn’t have been a better time to get it wrong! We’ve done some great day trips and actually the boys like having some chill out time and not being rushed about to the airport."