Channel 4 News presenters hit back at Adam Boulton's 'muppets' swipe

The Sky News Political Editor criticised the number of 'muppet' C4 presenters

The comedy film Anchorman spawned an unexpected sequel when presenters at Channel 4 News hit back at Adam Boulton, the Sky News Political Editor, after he described his rivals as “muppets”.

Boulton is standing down from his Westminster role to front a new Sky News evening show, which is set to place him in competition with Channel 4’s nightly 7pm bulletin.

The veteran broadcaster aimed a swipe at the Channel 4 show, presented by long-standing anchor Jon Snow. “I love Jon Snow, he has been a mentor of mine, but you do sometimes wonder how many presenters they can cram into their (Channel 4 News) studio. I saw Jon at a summit, he was reporting on his own. I said, 'it's nice to see you without the muppets'.”

Boulton told The Guardian: “It’s not that the individuals are muppets, it's that idea of the big figure surrounded by a whole load of other figures all fighting over the autocue. I think it’s Jon's show.”

Snow has been the face of Channel 4 News since 1989. He shares screen-space with Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who joined in 1998 and is “one of the main anchors of Channel 4 News”, according to the programme’s website.

Cathy Newman has also become a lead presenter on Channel 4 bulletins since arriving in 2006. She has been linked to the Sky News political editor’s role which Boulton is vacating. Matt Frei, Channel 4 News’s Europe Editor, is another co-presenter.

Ben de Pear, Channel 4 News editor, sprung to the defence of his team. He tweeted Boulton: “IF Jon's co hosts r Muppets,(they're not)u lot r Fraggle Rock. Don't remember them? Exactly”.

Fraggle Rock was another product of Jim Henson’s animated puppets stable but the 80s series lacked the Muppets’ longevity.

The editor included Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan in a further tweet to Boulton, in which he attempted to twist the ratings knife. “u have the advantage, being on Sky, of no-one recognising you. Hassle free,” he wrote.  The clash of the anchors would henceforth be known as “the muppets vs the fraggles,” de Pear said.

Guru-Murthy accused Boulton of “unprovoked rudeness”. But he was willing to forgive his rival if Boulton agreed to sponsor the Duchenne Dash, a gruelling 24 hour bike ride from London to Paris in which media rivals join forces to raise funds to combat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

“£500 from your huge salary not too much to help save children's live,” the Channel 4 man suggested, imploring Boulton to encase his substantial frame in lycra and ride himself if he declined to “pay up”. Boulton declined to respond further to the challenges issued from Channel 4.

Guru-Murthy, however, attempted to soothe egos at Sky News following his editor’s attack on the public visibility of the satellite broadcaster’s leading figures. “Ben wasn't referring to Dermot (Murnaghan) who is obviously huge star and ex-C4news,” he tweeted.

A senior Channel 4 news source said: “Matt Frei has just spent a week in Ukraine risking life and limb to bring viewers the most extraordinary reports out of Kiev. Cathy Newman broke one of the biggest stories of the year with the Lord Rennard scandal. Krishnan has just been nominated for RTS presenter of the year. If they are muppets, as Mr Boulton puts it, bring it on Miss Piggy.”

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...