Guilty Pleasures No 8: Harry Thompson, on 'Sky News'
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The Independent Online

Sky News is my one addiction. It's like being an alcoholic... I don't necessarily want a drink but I have one anyway. It's not that there is anything shameful about watching Sky News, it's the fact that I watch no other television, even though I'm a comedy producer and I really ought to watch some comedy.

Sky News is my one addiction. It's like being an alcoholic... I don't necessarily want a drink but I have one anyway. It's not that there is anything shameful about watching Sky News, it's the fact that I watch no other television, even though I'm a comedy producer and I really ought to watch some comedy. My main weaknesses are late at night, when I've worked until 2 or 3 in the morning and I'm absolutely exhausted, and I have to work again the next day, I still turn it on to see what the headlines are. An hour later I'm watching some report about a famine or something, completely knackered. And then I do it in the mornings too, which means I'm always late for work, despite the fact that I'm just watching the same stories on a 30-minute loop.

The bizarre thing is that I absolutely detest BBC News 24. It's so amateurish. It looks cheap. I used to work at the BBC, on Newsnight, which is partly produced by the news department, so I have seen it from the inside.

Sky News has some great people. Adam Boulton and Tim Marshall are both very good. I feel in my heart that only I know the Sky News product so inexplicably well. In my early days, I was the director of the news programme Points West in Bristol. The newsreader there was called Vivien Creegor. She's now a newsreader on Sky News. This is particularly strange because this was about a quarter of a century ago and she still looks exactly the same. She hasn't aged in any way. What this means is that there is either a factory where they manufacture Vivien Creegors, or Sky News is so good that it has its own fountain of youth.

I wish I didn't feel the need to watch it all the time, but watching any other channel is like putting on someone else's pants.

Interview by David Whitehouse

Harry Thompson is the writer and producer of 'Monkey Dust' on BBC3

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