Joke threat to "kick Sun journalist's head in" for reporting my age is working, claims Kay Burley

Sky News presenter Kay Burley has criticised the UK's print media for referencing her age in stories about her and doing the same with other female broadcast journalists, such as Barbara Walters from US network ABC.

Kay Burley: the Sky News presenter was interviewed by Weber Shandwick's Colin Byrne
Kay Burley: the Sky News presenter was interviewed by Weber Shandwick's Colin Byrne

"Whenever newspapers write about me they always say 'veteran broadcaster 53-year-old Kay Burley'," she said.

"What difference does it make how old I am? I think that is a problem, an issue, that we are challenging, and I do take it up with people like the managing editor on The Sun, Stig Abell [a regular guest on Sky News]."

She joked: "I have said to him if you write about me again and you say '53-year-old Kay Burley' at the opening of the second paragraph I’m going to kick your head in. The last few stories they have written about me they haven’t [done that]. So it is baby steps."

She made the comments on Monday night at an event hosted by PR agency Weber Shandwick, where she was interviewed about her career by the agency’s EMEA chief executive Colin Byrne.

She subsequently clarified that she believed news stories should not mention her age, or anyone else’s, at all. "I don’t think it matters whether I’m 25 or 42. It’s not important to me how old a person is but what experience they have," she said.

Burley also told the audience of mainly PR professionals that they should convince their clients to do live, rather than pre-recorded, broadcast interviews.

"It’s a mug’s game doing pre-record," she said. "If you do pre-record it means it can be edited. If it’s live it goes straight to air and there’s no barrier between your chief exec and the audience.

"Look at what happened with Nick Clegg in the leaders’ debates [ahead of the 2010 general election]. If they had done that as a pre-record they would have cut out all that looking down the barrel [of the camera lens] but he absolutely had people eating out of his hands."

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