Hot news: Kirsty's in Vogue

It's not quite a full year since Channel 5 came on air, but already its chief news anchorwoman Kirsty Young has established herself as one of the hottest new properties on UK TV. Never content to sit still and simply read an autocue, she will have her own half-hour chat show from next month.

Her meteoric rise to nationwide celebrity status has also been confirmed in the last week by two other developments. First, she has just been voted the "Outstanding New Talent of 1997" in the Variety Club's annual showbiz awards. Second, she was recently invited to do a major shoot for Vogue, as featured in the latest issue of that glossy fashion bible.

Chris Shaw, editor of 5 News, is naturally delighted to see the peripatetic presenter of his fast-paced programme generating so much favourable publicity. "Kirsty has pioneered a new kind of newscasting on a new kind of news programme, and this award is a great tribute to her skills," he enthuses, although he must be nervous about her being poached by rival news programmes with bigger audiences.

In public at least, Young is remaining loyal to the programme that gave her her big break in network broadcasting (previous stints as an on-screen reporter on Film 96 and the Holiday programme didn't make her a household name).

"The past 12 months have been an extraordinary 12 months for news and an extraordinary 12 months for me," she says. "The whole team at 5 News has done a great job, and I'm proud to be part of it."

So what is the secret of this 29-year-old Scotswoman's success? Richard Tait, editor-in-chief of ITN, believes it is "a sharp journalistic brain allied to a flair for live television".

Louise Chunn, who interviewed Kirsty and several other female anchors for Vogue, believes it's down to this: "She is pretty and blonde and bushy- tailed ... She's also clued-up, warm and direct, and has one of those low- pitched, delightfully calming Scottish accents that, if you had to, you would choose to break the most earth-shattering news."

That Kirsty Young's appeal isn't solely visual is proven by the fact that she was also recently hired by London-based Talk Radio to host its morning programme. That deal sparked tabloid speculation about her salary. The tabloids estimate it at around pounds 750,000 a year.

Whatever, she's obviously pulling in a lot more than she was making a year ago in her native Scotland, where she was a household name only in those parts served by Scottish Television.

But her lack of profile in Grampian and Border regions didn't stop the Scottish tabloids from intruding into her private life. She had a long relationship with Ian Pattison, the creator of Rab C Nesbitt, and then broke off her volatile engagement to a Glasgow restaurateur.

Her latest flame, the Scotland rugby international Kenny Logan, followed her down to London, but they still live at separate addresses. She has a flat in ever-fashionable Chelsea, and arrived for her Vogue shoot in a black leather coat, killer heels and her trademark Gucci jacket.

"Going without a jacket looks frivolous; you can't be taken seriously," she explained. "You go to Smith Square to try to get John Major on the night before he lost the election and you're wearing a cashmere twinset, no matter how exquisite - you won't get the interview. It doesn't necessarily make sense that people only trust you in a jacket, but it's true."

In the run-up to the launch of 5 News, Young put a lot of thought into her on-air attire. "I decided not to try to be swanky, but to follow certain rules: well-cut trousersuits, no patterns, dark colours - chocolate, dark blues - from places like Gucci and Joseph, so I don't clash with the primary colours of the newsroom. I'm not against skirts, but I don't want to be having to bother about skirt lengths - particularly any public discussion about them."

She doesn't want TV viewers - or reviewers - to think about what she's wearing. "If you do, then my clothes are distracting, and that's a big mistake. The key is to be credible without being staid. News can be entertaining. It can make you smile now and again, but, ultimately, you have to feel that you're getting the truth. You have to trust in that person."

Rob Brown, Media Editor

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Guru Careers: PR Account Director / SAM

£50 - 60k (DOE) + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: A PR Account Director / SAM ...

Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Insight Analyst

£32 - £37K + extensive benefits: Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Ins...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back