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Susanna Reid had to fight back tears during Good Morning Britain on Tuesday as she spoke to Folajimi Olubunmi-Adewole's family and friends about his tragic death.
The news presenter was overcome with emotion a number of times during the interview as she spoke to the parents of the 20-year-old, known as Jimi, and his friend Bernard who had been with him when he jumped into the River Thames to save a woman who had fallen in.
Jimi died during the heroic rescue attempt in the early hours of Saturday and as Susanna spoke to his parents and friend, she had to pause a number of times as she became choked up with tears.
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She said: "We talked yesterday about this incredible young man and it breaks my heart to talk about it frankly, 20-year-old Jimi.
"Jimi, who by all accounts is a total hero, jumped into the water to try and save her and unfortunately Jimi died in that rescue attempt."
A tearful Susanna spoke about the campaign for a Gallantry Award for Jimi, and added: "What a total hero, huge courage and we can’t thank you enough Jimi and I just think it’s an utter tragedy."
The TV star was visibly moved by speaking to Bernard, who broke down in tears while remembering his friend in the studio, and his devastated parents who appeared on video call.
She said: "It's so difficult, so difficult for Jimi's mum and dad, so difficult for you because you were there."
Mum-of-three Susanna shared the heartbreaking moment that had affected her when she saw a TikTok video of Jimi dancing that Bernard had posted in tribute to him.
She said: "Do you know what really struck home to me last night, my kids are always on TikTok, and you posted a video yesterday of Jimi.
"He was just a young man enjoying his life."
Again, she had to fight back tears and pause during the interview as she choked out: "I just can't…", while co-host Adil Ray comforted Bernard.
Another man also jumped into the Thames to help on Saturday night, and was rescued by the coastguard and police along with the woman who had fallen in.
Jimi's body was recovered at 6am the next morning.
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