Fiona Bruce is glad 'Crimewatch' has been axed.

Fiona Bruce

Fiona Bruce

The 53-year-old newsreader - who presented the real-life crime show from 2000 until 2007 - wasn't surprised when she heard that the programme was being pulled off air following a plunge in ratings because very few crimes were being solved.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, she said: "Ultimately, you can't have a programme like 'Crimewatch' if people aren't watching it.

"It has to be because you are trying to catch people and if people aren't watching then you are not going to catch very many.

"I was there for eight years and felt utterly committed to it - and believed in what we were doing. I was very proud of what 'Crimewatch' achieved."

The murder of Rachel Nickell - a 23-year-old mum who was stabbed to death on Wimbledon Common in 1992 - was the first case Fiona cover as a junior reporter and she has admitted she will never forget the haunting images she saw at the time.

She explained: "For reasons best known to himself, the investigating officer, when I went to interview him, thrust across the desk photos of Rachel's body, which was an extraordinary violation of her privacy.

"To me, it was then as it would be now - utterly shocking. This a young woman who has been stabbed 49 times. So I've never forgotten those images."

'Crimewatch' has aired for 33 series since it began in June 1984, when it was presented by Nick Ross and Sue Cook.

In 1995, Sue was replaced by Jill Dando, who was shot dead on her doorstep in 1999. The case has never been solved.

One of the most high-profile cases 'Crimewatch' helped to solve came in 1993 when CCTV footage of James Bulger's killers led to Jon Venables and Robert Thompson being identified and put away.

What's more, Michael Stone was convicted of the double murder of Lin and Megan Russell after a 1997 appeal on the TV show.