Steerpike

Has Kay Burley just been cancelled?

Has Kay Burley just been cancelled?
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It's a big morning for news in the UK as the first patients receive the Pfizer coronavirus jabs and Brexit deadlines loom. So, one would have imagined Kay Burley would be front and centre of her self-titled morning breakfast show. Apparently not. Mr S was curious to note Burley's absence on today's show — with Sky News's Sarah Hewson instead broadcasting from Coventry University Hospital, where the first vaccinations are taking the place.

It appears Burley has been deemed a safety risk after Guido broke the news that the Sky News anchor had breached social distancing rules with her 60th birthday celebration. Her crime? Burley is alleged to have gone over the permitted rule of six (which, by the way, is outdoors only) and booked out two tables — for a group of ten including her close Sky colleague Beth Rigby — at the swanky Century Club in Soho on Saturday night. She then stopped by another restaurant post the curfew before apparently, a smaller group of four headed Burley’s home for an after party. Burley has apologised on social media for one breach — saying she went into the second restaurant after hours as she needed to 'spend a penny'. No comment yet on the other allegations. 

She was in Coventry preparing for the show when she received the news she would not be presenting the show after all. Mr S understands Burley is likely to stay off air for the time being. One senior source says she has suspended pending discussions with senior management. Mr S understands Burley unlikely to re-emerge on the screens this year – while she insists that's down to a holiday others at the company believe she wouldn't have been allowed regardless. The disciplinary discussions — that could take place this week – will decide her future at the broadcaster. Mr S's mole at Sky says if she is shown leniency it won't go down too well in the newsroom: 'I would love this to be what brings her down but as we know cockroaches survive nuclear blasts,' they explain.

Perhaps Burley ought to volunteer to be an interviewee on her own show. That way she could be on the receiving end for once when it comes to questions on the need for a further toughening of restrictions and whether it's 'one rule for them'...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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