My Life In Media: Kay Burley

'Oliver Reed shaking his funky thing at me when I was eight months pregnant was embarrassing'
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Kay Burley, 44, is a Sky News presenter. After working as a newspaper and radio journalist, she joined Sky for its launch in 1989. She has covered many high-profile events including 9/11, which helped win the channel a Bafta, while her personal accolades include being named Most Desirable Woman on TV three times. She also interviewed Rebecca Loos following allegations of her affair with David Beckham. She has one son.

Kay Burley, 44, is a Sky News presenter. After working as a newspaper and radio journalist, she joined Sky for its launch in 1989. She has covered many high-profile events including 9/11, which helped win the channel a Bafta, while her personal accolades include being named Most Desirable Woman on TV three times. She also interviewed Rebecca Loos following allegations of her affair with David Beckham. She has one son.

What inspired you to have a career in the media?

I was happily studying for my A-levels in Wigan when I was offered work experience at the local weekly newspaper. I was completely bitten by the journalism bug. I went back to school and proceeded to write 60 letters to local newspapers almost begging them for the opportunity. The local evening paper in Wigan, the Evening Post and Chronicle, was the one that gave me the opportunity more than 25 years ago.

What were your favourite TV and radio programmes?`

I loved Ask the Family, Dr Who and Noel Edmond's Multi-coloured Swap Shop... oh, and Top of the Pops, of course.

What's the first media you turn to in the morning?

Sky News, obviously, followed by the Today programme and then GMTV to see my old mate Kate Garraway looking gorgeous.

Do you consult any media sources during the working day?

Whatever I can think of. Several news websites, national newspapers we haven't had time to read at breakfast, and I finish with Newsnight.

What's the best thing about your job?

Spontaneity. Who knows what the news of the day will bring. I can be meandering through the day when a plane hits the World Trade Centre, called in the middle of the night to cover the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, or find myself flying around Britain on election night.

And the worst?

Missing my son's birthday for the second year in a row.

What is the proudest achievement in your working life?

Still being able to carry it off after so long.

And your most embarrassing moment?

Where to start? Most of them appear on It'll Be All Right on the Night or Naughtiest Blunders - but Oliver Reed shaking his funky thing at me when I was eight months pregnant is probably up there.

At home, what do you tune in to?

Sky News - corny but true. I love Nip/Tuck and Desperate Housewives.

What is your Sunday paper and do you have a favourite magazine?

A distillation of The Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday and News of the World tends to cover it. The Independent on Sunday is a must read too. My favourite magazine - I'd like to say Cosmo, Vanity Fair, but it's Good Housekeeping.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire.

Answer questions like these without being teased at home for being too corny/ serious/ boring/tedious.

If you didn't work in the media, what would you like to do?

Law - it's the only subject I received a distinction for during my proficiency certificate in journalism.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Depends. Jeremy Paxman because he has balls, but is so unassuming in person; Eamonn Holmes - he's a disarming interviewer but woe betide those who underestimate his Celtic manner; and Angus Deayton - more comebacks than Frank Sinatra, good on him.

Kay Burley presents Sex, Lies and Politics tonight at 9pm on Sky One

The CV

1978: Kay gets her first break at Wigan Evening Post and Chronicle.

1981: Spends two years freelancing at six local radio stations in the North-west and the Sunday Mirror.

1983: Is a researcher at Granada Reports.

1984: Becomes the news editor at Tyne Tees Television.

1985: Joins breakfast show TV-am as a presenter and newsreader.

1988: Joins Sky television, launching Sky One in February 1989 with her own documentary, The Satellite Revolution. Following stints at Sky News Sunrise and Live at 5, she currently anchors Sky News Today.

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