Kay Burley in 2009
Wigan, Greater Manchester, England
|Occupation||Journalist, television presenter|
|Notable credit(s)||TV-am, Sky News|
Kay has done more hours of live television than any other news presenter.
Burley worked in BBC local radio and TV, including Tyne Tees Television, before joining TV-am in 1985 as a reporter and occasional newsreader. From 1987, she presented TV-am's first hour, filling in for Caroline Righton and covering for Anne Diamond during her maternity leave.
Burley was recruited by Andrew Neil, and joined Sky Television, launching the Sky One Entertainment Channel in November 1988 with her own documentary The Satellite Revolution. She moved to the fledgling Sky News in 1988.
Among many noteworthy assignments, she fronted Sky News coverage from Sri Lanka following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and subsequent tsunami. In 2005, she was prominent in Sky News's coverage of both the General Election and the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, and in 2013 was prominent in the coverage of the birth of Prince George of Cambridge.
Burley's first novel, First Ladies, was published on 12 May 2011. The book is an erotic romance set in the media industry, including television news. According to one reviewer, it's a "turgid mess" which isn't even bad enough to be good: "Unfortunately, this book, with its dire comic timing, complete absence of irony, pointless digressions, dull plotting and complete lack of any engaging characters, is so mind-numblingly, fist-chewingly awful, that it’s just bad."
Burley's latest novel, Betrayal, was released in May 2012.
Reporting as part of Sky News's coverage of the September 11 attacks in Manhattan, Burley claimed that "the entire eastern seaboard of the United States has been decimated by a terrorist attack", a statement for which she continues to receive criticism.
On 3 February 2010, Burley interviewed Peter Andre less than 24 hours after his ex-wife Katie Price married Alex Reid in Las Vegas. Andre had been booked in advance to promote his new album, when Burley questioned him about Price, Reid and his children. He was also asked to comment on an interview Dwight Yorke, the father of Price's first child Harvey, had given to Sky News in October 2009. When the questions advanced to asking whether Andre feared losing custody of his children to Reid, he became visibly upset, declaring "I was not prepared for this", and asking to end the interview. Ofcom received almost 900 complaints about Burley's treatment of Andre. She was cleared of breaching of broadcasting guidelines.
In February 2010, Burley was forced to apologise on-air for offending Catholics when she joked that US Vice President Joe Biden, who had ashes on his forehead to mark Ash Wednesday, had a "large bruise" that he had picked up from "walking into a door" or from slipping on ice during his recent trip to Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
On 8 May 2010, Burley was heckled during an interview outside the Houses of Parliament by a protester who chanted "Sack Kay Burley. Watch the BBC. Sky News is shit!" Burley, who was talking to Ben Page from Ipsos MORI, commented that "they don't like The Sun, they don't like us, they don't like Rupert [Murdoch]" before the interview was abruptly terminated, with the broadcast cutting to a silent, animated Sky News logo for over a minute. Burley was also criticised for an interview with David Babbs, Executive Director of 38 Degrees, in which she repeatedly interrupted him as he talked about the possible consequences of a coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, saying, "your views are not going to sway the people that are talking behind closed doors. [...] The public have voted for a hung parliament. We have got exactly what we voted for... so you marching down past Westminster today will make no difference whatsoever. [...] Why don't you just go home? Why don't you go home and watch it on Sky News?" The Guardian commented "Paxman, it ain't." The media regulator Ofcom received over 700 complaints about the incident from viewers, but found no breach of its code.
On 9 September 2010, Burley interrupted Labour MP Chris Bryant during an interview regarding developments in the News of the World phone hacking affair with the words, "No, no, no, you can't say that, sir... No, no, no, no, I have to interrupt you, do you have evidence for that?... Pretty strong claim if you don't!" When Bryant responded that the evidence for his statement was clearly included in the parliamentary debate that Burley was actually covering in that section of the programme, she replied, "So you are in a position to have listened to the debate and read the report and as a result you are content to say that on telly?" Bryant responded, "I have just said that. You seem to be a bit dim, if you don't mind me saying so."
On 5 October 2012, Burley was accused of insensitivity after she broke the news of the probable death of missing five-year-old April Jones live on air to volunteers who had been assisting in the search for her. The interviewees were unaware that the case had become a murder inquiry.
On 26 March 2015, Burley was accused of being biased in favour of David Cameron whilst hosting a joint Sky News/Channel 4 television debate in the run up to the UK general election 2015. Ofcom received 130 complaints against the presenter.
Dancing on Ice
Burley was a contestant for the second series of the ITV reality television show Dancing on Ice, beginning on 20 January 2007. She was skating for MacMillan Cancer Care, in memory of her mother, who had died of breast cancer. She also donated her appearance fee to the charity. Burley went out of the show in the fifth week following a skate-off.
- Biographies - Kay Burley Sky News
- "Kay Burley - How I lost my Wigan accent". Lancashire Life. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
- Millar, Paul (18 February 2010). "Burley apologises for Catholic symbol error". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 6 May 2010.
Burley, a Catholic herself, conceded: "I know I'm a very bad Catholic. I know I should know that today is Ash Wednesday and that's why he'd got ash across his forehead"
- "My Life In Media: Kay Burley". The Independent. 9 May 2005. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
- Hoggard, Liz (11 May 2011). "Kay Burley: Revenge? It's probably best served after seven years". Evening Standard. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
- "Presenters". TV-am archive and museum. Next Level Interactive. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- "This Week". BBC One (BBC). 19 May 2011.
- Kay's a winner working Xmas The Sun, 3 August 2007
- Kay Burley to present shows on LBC 97.3 over Christmas TV Newsroom, 1 December 2012
- Amazon - Kay Burley, First Ladies Amazon.co.uk; Retrieved 28 March 2011
- Kay Burley delivers literary lesson in romance guardian.co.uk, 28 March 2011
- Review: First Ladies by Kay Burley | Total Politics
- Bryony Gordon (29 May 2012). "Kay Burley: 'I don’t want to sit here with a paper bag on my head just because I’ve turned 50 and I’m getting hot flushes’". The Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- Sky News shows how we're losing our religion, because we've already lost the Ashes – Telegraph Blogs
- Matthew Norman: The ghouls, the narcissist and top jobs at CNN - Matthew Norman - Commentators - The Independent
- Lee, Cara (3 February 2010). "Pete breaks down on TV". The Sun.
- "Andre On Music And Jordan's Marriage". Sky News. Retrieved 3 February 2010.[dead link]
- "Kay Burley's Peter Andre interview on Sky News led to nearly 900 complaints". Mirror Online. 11 February 2010.
- Ofcom clears Kay Burley over Peter Andre interview BBC News, 26 April 2010
- Allen, Peter (18 February 2010). "Kay Burley has to say sorry for mistaking Ash Wednesday cross on U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's forehead for a bruise". Mail Online (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- Neil Wilkes (8 May 2010). "Kay Burley heckled live on Sky News - TV News". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- Sack Kay Burley: top Twitter trend guardian.co.uk, 8 May 2010
- Sky News defends Kay Burley's interview treatment of 38 Degrees director Journalism.co.uk, 11 May 2010
- "Sky News presenter Kay Burley under fire after 'aggressive' interview with political campaigner". Mail Online (Associated Newspapers Ltd). 10 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- Sweney, Mark (12 May 2010). "Adam Boulton and Kay Burley: almost 1,500 complaints to Ofcom". guardian.co.uk (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- Jeffery, Simon (9 September 2010). "Chris Bryant accuses Kay Burley of being 'a bit dim'". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
- "Sky News defends Kay Burley over April Jones live interview having been inundated with angry complaints". The Drum. Carnyx Group Limit. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- "Sky News presenter, Kay Burley, accused of being 'insensitive bordering on cruel' in interview with April Jones volunteers". The Independent. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- "April Jones: was Kay Burley right to say family 'don't expect to find her alive'?". guardian.co.uk. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- "Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom". 27 March 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- Daniel Kilkelly (30 December 2006). "New 'Dancing On Ice' contestants announced". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- Dancing On Ice 2007: Kay Burley Dedicates Dance To Deceased Mum Unreality TV, 19 January 2007
- Neil Kilkelly (30 December 2006). "Tension between 'Ice' stars Ulrika, Kay?". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- Dancing On Ice: Ulrika Jonsson Turns Frosty With Kay Burley! Unreality TV, 14 January 2007
- Sky News presenter Kay Burley brands colleague 'staggeringly sexist' live on air Mail Online, 18 July 2009