Hurley Burley – A Newsreader Talking About Sex?!


Kay Burley’s racy soon-to-be-published novel, First Ladies, is causing murmurs of disapproval, but it’s about time we got some sex out of a news woman.

Fantastic. A newsreader who is brave enough to switch from Middle East politics to cunnilingus and to detract from education proposals to tell us about indecent bedroom proposals.

I commend Kay Burley for daring to stray away from her public news camera persona – which is obviously clearly still doing well for her – and having a go at another persona, just for the hell of it. I double commend her for admitting that even for people in the public eye that thing….you know… exists. She’s telling us: hey despite the daily autocue ritual, I am just as human as you. By god, she even thinks about sex sometimes, would you believe it?!

From personal experience I can only assume Burley is feeling a mighty fine sense of liberation. As someone who worked in broadcast news for seven years and now myself a writer of sex issues and – as of this month – author of my own raunchy memoir, I know which of my two career forks give me the most satisfaction.

She’s been blasted though, by the press. Media Monkey drenched its two paragraph review with sarcasm – the very idea of a news woman writing about sex! It never goes down well when serious personalities talk about sex does it? Look at Tony Blair’s biography – he is now first in line for The Literary Review’s Bad Sex Award for one tiny reference to his romantic rumblings. And Alistair Campbell – well just don’t mention that he used to write dirty stories for the Erotic Review.

It’s about time women wrote about sex without shame. We have had too many successful pseudonyms. Belle de Jour, Abby Lee, Catherine M. As an ex journalist for ITN, and now a freelance journalist, I originally planned to write Sugar Daddy Diaries under a pseudonym but then, if writers, journalists and public figures keep shying away from the topic, how can we ever dispel the myth that any lady with dignity just doesn’t do sex. This is why I love Anna Arrowsmith – the ex porn director who proudly canvassed her career history when she marched into the role of Lib Dem MP.

In my broadcast career, I have met, worked with and sat next to plenty of newsreaders and reporters who are sickeningly in love with their public personas. Not since Angela Rippon showed us her legs in that news-dance spoof, has a female news reader exposed her human sexual side.

Though I’ll grant an exception to Mary Nightingale who wore a rubber cat suit at the Newsroom’s got Talent show last autumn!

Helen Croydon is a freelance print and broadcast journalist specialising in sex and relationships.

Sugar Daddy Diaries: When a Fantasy Became an Obsession by Helen Croydon was published on the 3rd March.Mainstream Publishing,£7.99.

(which, now we mention it, is above Tony Blair’s book at some WHSmith stores)

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