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Mark Longhurst is a British news presenter for ITV News West Country. Until August 2016, he was a presenter at Sky News, where he presented the channel's evening news programmes from Friday to Sunday. Before joining Sky, he was a presenter for TV-am, Independent Television News, BBC One's South Today programme and for BBC World.
Longhurst was educated at Reigate Grammar School and then Midhurst Grammar School, a state school in the market town of Midhurst in West Sussex. He read Modern History for a BA (Hons) degree at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He was then indentured for the NCTJ's journalism post-graduate scheme.
Life and career
Longhurst's broadcasting career spans over three decades. His credits include coverage of the 1991 Gulf War for TV-am and the 1992 general election for ITN, a stint as a co-presenter on BBC One's South Today and time with the international news channel BBC World.
He joined Sky News in 1997, initially as their business correspondent, before moving into the studio as a presenter. He presented a range of programmes and slots for Sky, including Sky News Today, Sunrise and latterly weekend editions of Sky News at Ten. He left Sky News in August 2016, as a result of heavy cost-saving measures at Sky.
Owen Jones incident
On 12 June 2016, Mark Longhurst was chairing the nightly newspaper review on Sky News when he discussed the press coverage of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting with Owen Jones and Julia Hartley-Brewer. Jones said the ongoing discussion was "bizarre" and "the most astonishing thing I’ve ever been involved in on television" after Longhurst suggested the massacre was an attack "on the freedom of all people to try and enjoy themselves", rather than a hate crime targeting the LGBT community. Jones, who is gay, walked out, leaving the conversation while still on air. Longhurst was made redundant by Sky just two months later.
- "Mark Longhurst leaves Sky News in cost-saving restructure". The Guardian. 19 August 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
- "Watch: Owen Jones walks off Sky News debate on whether Orlando was a homophobic attack". New Statesman. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
Presenter [Longhurst]: "Well, it’s something that’s carried out against human beings, isn’t it, no matter what their…" Owen Jones: "No! No… This has to be called out for what it is; this was an intentional attack on LGBT people." Presenter: “On the freedom of all people to try and enjoy themselves as Bataclan was.” (...) Presenter: “Now, you share that view that this was deliberately targeted on one part of the community rather than the freedom to enjoy yourself, no matter what your sexual orientation is."
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