Anorak | Anchors Away

Anchors Away

by | 16th, November 2005

‘ANYONE who has watched the BBC’s weekend morning news show has asked: how did Kate Silverton get the job?

Saddam Hussein’s cell has been painted in duck-egg blue

Silverton, all lip gloss and eye-catching bad fashion, is too routinely awful to escape the suspicion that it was not her journalistic expertise alone that got her to where she is today.

As one UK critic said, she looks ‘not only as if she had come fresh from a beauty salon but as if she usually worked in one’.

Since being able to read English out loud and sit still is pretty much the only prerequisite for the job of news presenter, Silverton should be able to cope as well as any five-year-old reading her story out in class.

But she too often struggles. There are too many errors. And when Silverton does get it right, she has that annoying habit of turning to her co-presenter as if to say, “Come on, it’s not that hard. Have a go. Try.”

And the sidekick doesn’t always appreciate Silverton. Philip Hayton could take no more. ‘It boils down to incompatibility,’ said Hayton in September this year. He was unable to work with Silverton on the BBC’s News 24 service any longer. ‘We did four hours of live TV every day, and you have to like each other,’ he said.

At the time, Silverton’s agent said Hayton’s departure had come as a complete surprise. ‘I think this says more about Philip than it does about Kate,’ said Alex Armitage.

That it did. It said that as a journalist of many years standing Hayton could no longer stand to share the desk with someone of Silverton’s calibre the kind of person for whom journalism’s front line runs directly through her seat at Television Centre.

And Jon Snow, the Channel 4 news presenter, has noticed the problem. In days of yore, the presenting desk was a kind of refuge for hacks who could not longer get about in the field.

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Posted: 16th, November 2005 | In: Celebrities Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink