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Anorak | Not Newsworthy

Not Newsworthy

by | 7th, June 2005

‘HERE is the news, brought to you by nice hair, straight white teeth and a smouldering set of bedroom eyes.

”Bong! Natasha Kaplinsky wears new jacket. Bong! Fiona Bruce has eyebrows waxed…”

At the Hay-on-Wye literary festival, a balding man of middling years has complained that there are some “real lame brains” reading the news.

Describing one unnamed male presenter as a “real dumbo”, the man said that reading the news is the only job “which actually requires no talent at all”.

This is cleanly bunkum, and other jobs – estate agent, ringtone provider and being Shane Richie – require just as little skill as being able to read an autocue.

But Michael Buerk, for it is he, the newsreader who left his desk at the BBC’s Ten O’Clock News two years ago, says that today’s news robots are paid too much for performing so simple a task.

The Times says Andrew Marr (£150,000 a year plus book deals) the BBC’s outgoing Political Editor, agrees. And John Humphrey’s (£150,000), the dull, self-important voice of BBC Radio 4, says newsreading requires “no brain”.

But in what the

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