Reaction Media Column 33: Kay Burley & Great Britain’s ‘Shagaluf’

This column appeared first in the response.

Kay Burley at breakfast, Sky News

I intended to check out Kay Burley’s breakfast show today, but events failed me. Or rather, Kay herself failed me. Her 60th birthday (60? Never!) Celebrations made some Cummings-like headlines this week, resulting in her and two coworkers being taken off the air for their transgressions. Guido Fawkes got the story, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Kay apologized badly and poorly on Twitter, which left the Sky News bosses a little unimpressed. So unimpressed they whipped her out of the air, and instead of showing the Sky live coverage of the first vaccination, Kay spent the morning in bed.

On Thursday they announced that they would not be on the air for the next six months. Sky Political Editor Beth Rigby and Inzamam Rashid also took a three-month hiatus. All with full payment, natch.

Rashid is a happy boy. He had traveled 200 miles from Tier 3 to Tier 2 to attend the birthday celebrations. Given that for the past few weeks he hasn’t covered anything other than how people in Manchester deal with being in Tier 3, how could he be so stupid?

The problem that all three journalists face is that when they come back on screen they will hold people accountable who may have broken the rules themselves – not just on Covid, but on something else?

In the meantime, Sky has to decide who should present his breakfast show. Niall Paterson and Steve Dixon have to be the front runners despite the handicap of being white men. Another option would be to dissuade Anna Botting from the late night show. We’ll find out soon.

Newquay: 24/7 Party People, Channel 4

Newquay has become the English equivalent of Ibiza. Well, up to a point. It can’t have the trance music, it can’t 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, you might think. Again up to a point. This series follows the antics of groups of teenagers and twenties who come to Newquay with a single purpose. To get a shag. And with some degree of inevitability, they fail.

We meet Beth and Shannon, two girls from Sheffield who are pretty open about wanting to have sex with every guy they meet and they’re not particularly concerned about knowing his name. They fail in their mission. Then there is a group of four guys who all share a room which is quite charming (not) showing a shower cubicle. “God, you have a hairy ass,” one boy says to the other, who tries to shower without knowing that it is fully displayed. This program delights audiences with bare backs – hairy or otherwise – and full fronts. It’s kind of a Naked Attraction-Lite.

Another boy named Spain – no, he really is – is introduced to us as a 21 year old virgin. He’s a handsome boy, dark and thoughtful, and you’d think he’d be a hit with the girls, but there’s a scene in a bar where he’s trying to entertain a girl and then it becomes clear why he is it can’t get its end gone. He transforms from a handsome, amusing boy into a nervous wreck who keeps saying completely inappropriate things. So inappropriate, in fact, that the girls walk away in the middle of a conversation. He returns to Wales like the rest of the group without disturbing the Bednotch scorers.

And then there are the two beauty queens, one with her sash. As Ena Sharples may have said, “They weren’t better than they should be,” even though they thought they were better than Beth and Shannon. To be fair They were completely out of place. It was like the Good Life Margot trying to mix it with Tom and Barbara Good. It would never work – and it didn’t.

Programs like this are addicting. You can’t turn it off because you want to know what happens in the end. However, you can venture a good guess. But somehow watching this program made me think that I would like to visit Newquay, albeit in the off-season, even though I don’t think I want to meet Beth or Shannon.

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