This column first appeared on Reaction.
Kay Burley at Breakfast, Sky News
I had intended to review Kay Burley’s breakfast show today, but events have scuppered me. Or rather, Kay herself has scuppered me. Her 60th birthday celebrations (60? Never!) have made some Cummings-esque headlines this week, resulting in her and two colleagues being taken off air for their transgressions. Guido Fawkes got the story, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Kay issued an ill-advised and badly worded apology on Twitter, which clearly left Sky News bosses a tad unimpressed. So unimpressed were they that they whipped her off air, and instead of presenting the Sky live coverage of the first vaccination, Kay spent the morning in bed.
On Thursday, they announced that she was going to be off air for the next six months, with Beth Rigby, the Sky political editor and Inzamam Rashid also taking a three month break. All on full pay, natch.
Rashid is a lucky boy. He had travelled 200 miles from a tier 3 region to a tier 2 area to take part in the birthday celebrations. Given he has spent the last few weeks reporting on nothing else but how the people of Manchester are dealing with being in tier 3, how could he have been so stupid?
The problem all three journalists are going to face is that when they do get back on screen, how are they going to hold people to account who themselves may have transgressed the rules – not just on Covid but on anything else?
In the meantime, Sky have got to decide who should now present their breakfast show. Niall Paterson and Steve Dixon must be the front runners, despite having the handicap of being white men. Another option would be to move Anna Botting off the late-night show. We’ll soon find out.
Newquay: 24/7 Party People, Channel 4
Newquay has become the English equivalent of Ibiza. Well, up to a point. It may not have the trance music, it may not have the weather; but it certainly has the waves and it definitely has a sense of hedonism. Perfect for a Channel 4 fly on the wall documentary, you’d think. Again, up to a point. This series follows the antics of groups of teenagers and twenty-somethings who descend on Newquay with a single aim in mind. To get a shag. And with a certain degree of inevitability, they fail.
We meet Beth and Shannon, two girls from Sheffield, who are quite open that they want to have sex with any guy they happen upon, and they’re not particularly bothered about knowing his name. They fail in their mission. Then there is a group of four lads who all share a room, which rather charmingly (not) has a shower cubicle on full display. “God, you’ve got a hairy arse,” says one lad to the other who’s trying to have a shower blissfully unaware he’s on full display. This programme titillate its audience with bare backsides – hairy or otherwise – and full frontals. It’s a sort of Naked Attraction-lite.
Another lad, who is called Spain – no, really, he is – is introduced to us as a 21 year old virgin. He’s a good looking lad, dark and brooding, and you’d think he would be a hit with the girls, but there’s a scene in a bar where he tries to chat up a girl and it then becomes clear why he can’t get his end away. He transforms himself from a good looking, amusing lad into a nervous wreck who keeps saying totally inappropriate things. In fact, so inappropriate that the girls walk away in the middle of a conversation. He, like the rest of the group, heads back to Wales without having troubled the bednotch scorers.
And then there’s the pair of beauty queens who arrived, one wearing her sash. As Ena Sharples might have said, “they were no better than they ought to be”, even though they thought they were a cut above the likes of Beth and Shannon. Which, to be fair, they were. They were totally out of place. It was like watching Margot from the Good Life trying to mix it with Tom and Barbara Good. It was never going to work – and it didn’t.
There’s something highly addictive about programmes likes this. You can’t switch off as you’re keen to know what happens in the end. You can hazard a good guess, though. But somehow watching this programme has made me think I’d quite like to visit Newquay, albeit in the off-season although I don’t think I’d want to meet Beth or Shannon.