Kay Burley

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Kay Burley
Kay Burley 2009.jpg
Burley in 2009
Born Kay Burley
1961 (age 53–54)[1][2]
Wigan, Lancashire, England
Ethnicity English
Occupation Television presenter
Notable credit(s) TV-am, Sky News

Kay Burley (born 1961) is an English television newsreader and presenter. She has been a news anchor for Sky News since 1988.

Burley has hosted more hours of live television than any other news presenter.[3]

Early life[edit]

Burley was brought up in Beech Hill, Wigan, Lancashire[4][5] and was raised as a Catholic.[6]

Her first reporting job was at the Wigan Evening Post and Chronicle in Wigan at the age of 17.[1][2]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Burley presenting Sky News with Adam Boulton during the 2010 UK General Election.

Burley worked in BBC local radio and TV, including Tyne Tees Television,[1] 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.[7]

Burley was recruited by Andrew Neil,[8] and joined Sky Television, launching the Sky One Entertainment Channel in November 1988 with her own documentary The Satellite Revolution.[1] She moved to the fledgling Sky News in 1988.

Among her 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 is known for presenting news coverage on Christmas morning on Sky News.[9]

Burley is an occasional contributor to the tabloid Sunday Mirror, and in the summer of 2006 appeared occasionally on Channel 5's news bulletins.

She has appeared as a stand-in for Iain Dale on his Sunday Politics show on London talk radio station LBC 97.3.[10]

Burley joined LBC Radio on 23 March 2014 along with The Sun’s Managing Editor Stig Abell to present a show from 8–11am on Sundays.


Burley's first novel, First Ladies, was published on 12 May 2011.[11] The book is an erotic romance set in the media industry, including television news.[12] 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."[13]

Burley's latest novel, Betrayal, was released in May 2012.[14]


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".[15][16]

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.[17]

In September 2010, Burley was criticised for an interview with Labour MP Chris Bryant, over alleged phone hacking by newspaper journalists. Burley challenged comments Bryant made during a House of Commons debate, that phone hacking was 'endemic' in the industry, despite the comments being supported by evidence from the Information Commissioner's Office. The British government subsequently launched an investigation into the matter, but during a second interview in 2011, Burley refused to apologise to Bryant. The investigation led to a number of people being arrested and convicted for involvement in phone hacking, including private investigator Glenn Mulcaire who hacked Chris Bryant's own phone on the behalf of News of the World in 2003. Mulcaire was convicted and imprisoned for 6 months in 2007 and received a further conviction during the hacking trial of 2013–14, for which he received a 6-month suspended sentence. [18][19][20]

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.[21][22][23]

In June 2015 Burley was criticised through social media for her interview of Nick Varney, the CEO of Merlin Entertainments. This followed an accident on The Smiler ride at Alton Towers, which led to injuries for 11 of the 16 passengers. Responses to her behaviour dubbed it "disrespectful to everyone involved" and an "outright attack".[24] In response Burley tweeted "For those concerned I was hard on Alton Towers boss, he'll get over it. Not sure those on his ride will be so quick to recover".[25] Her interview with Varney began a negative reaction over social media, prompting 1,816 complaints to Ofcom and also led to over 55,000 signatures on a petition to have Burley sacked.[26][27] Ofcom declined to launch a formal investigation into the interview.[28]

In July 2015 Burley was criticised for her interview of Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central, in which Burley asked a question about the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn winning the Labour leadership election three times, despite what many commentators regarded as an acceptable answer being given the first time.[5][29]

In November 2015 Burley, who had been in Paris covering the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, was criticised for tweeting an image of a golden retriever dog with a caption noting: "Sadness in his eyes".[30][31]

Dancing on Ice[edit]

Main article: 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.[32] She was skating for MacMillan Cancer Care, in memory of her mother, who had died of breast cancer.[33] She donated her appearance fee to the charity. Burley went out of the show in the fifth week following a skate-off.[34][35]

Personal life[edit]

Burley is twice divorced and has one son from a one-year marriage to Steve Kutner, a football agent.[36]


  1. ^ a b c d "My Life In Media: Kay Burley". The Independent (London). 9 May 2005. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Hoggard, Liz (11 May 2011). "Kay Burley: Revenge? It's probably best served after seven years". Evening Standard. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Biographies - Kay Burley Sky News
  4. ^ "Kay Burley - How I lost my Wigan accent". Lancashire Life. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Natalie Walker (26 July 2015). "What is wrong with Kay Burley?". Wigan Today. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  6. ^ 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" 
  7. ^ "Presenters". TV-am archive and museum. Next Level Interactive. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "This Week". BBC One (BBC). 19 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Kay's a winner working Xmas The Sun, 3 August 2007
  10. ^ Kay Burley to present shows on LBC 97.3 over Christmas TV Newsroom, 1 December 2012
  11. ^ Amazon - Kay Burley, First Ladies Amazon.co.uk; Retrieved 28 March 2011
  12. ^ Kay Burley delivers literary lesson in romance guardian.co.uk, 28 March 2011
  13. ^ "Review: First Ladies by Kay Burley". totalpolitics.com. 
  14. ^ 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 (London: Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  15. ^ "Sky News shows how we're losing our religion, because we've already lost the Ashes". News - Telegraph Blogs (London). 18 February 2010. 
  16. ^ "Matthew Norman: The ghouls, the narcissist and top jobs at CNN". The Independent (London). 12 July 2010. 
  17. ^ 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 (London: Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  18. ^ Midgley, Neil (9 September 2010). "Kay Burley is 'a bit dim', says Labour MP Chris Bryant". Telegraph.co.uk (London). 
  19. ^ O'Grady, Sean (16 July 2011). "Chris Bryant: Scourge of Murdoch". The Independent (London). 
  20. ^ Chris Bryant MP demands an apology from Kay Burley.. YouTube. 12 July 2011. 
  21. ^ "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. 
  22. ^ Williams, Rob (5 October 2012). "Sky News presenter, Kay Burley, accused of being 'insensitive bordering on cruel' in interview with April Jones volunteers". The Independent (London). Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  23. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (5 October 2012). "April Jones: was Kay Burley right to say family 'don't expect to find her alive'?". guardian.co.uk (London). Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  24. ^ Sarah Ann Harris (15 June 2015). "Alton Towers Rollercoaster Crash: Kay Burley Tears Into Theme Park's CEO Nick Varney". Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "Kay Burley on Twitter: "For those concerned I was hard on Alton Towers boss, he'll get over it. Not sure those on his ride will be so quick to recover #perspective"". Twitter.com. 2015-06-05. Retrieved 2015-06-13. 
  26. ^ Nianias, Helen (15 June 2015). "Kay Burley cleared by Ofcom". London: The Independent. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  27. ^ title. "Kay Burley's Sky News Interview With Alton Towers CEO Nick Varney Prompts 33,000 To Sign Petition To Sack Her". Huffingtonpost.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-06-13. 
  28. ^ Mark Sweney (15 June 2015). "Kay Burley's Alton Towers interview cleared as petition tops 55,000". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  29. ^ Heather Saul (23 July 2015). "Kay Burley asked 'what's wrong with you?' by Labour MP asked same question three times". The Independent (London). Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  30. ^ Adam Withnall (15 November 2015). "Kay Burley criticised for dog tweet in wake of Paris attacks". The Independent. 
  31. ^ "Kay Burley on Twitter". Twitter. 
  32. ^ Daniel Kilkelly (30 December 2006). "New 'Dancing On Ice' contestants announced". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  33. ^ Dancing On Ice 2007: Kay Burley Dedicates Dance To Deceased Mum Unreality TV, 19 January 2007
  34. ^ Neil Kilkelly (30 December 2006). "Tension between 'Ice' stars Ulrika, Kay?". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  35. ^ Dancing On Ice: Ulrika Jonsson Turns Frosty With Kay Burley! Unreality TV, 14 January 2007
  36. ^ Sky News presenter Kay Burley brands colleague 'staggeringly sexist' live on air Mail Online, 18 July 2009

External links[edit]