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
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
film
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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.

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform