Kay Burley’s ‘racy’ new book gets Mandelson vote

Mar 31, 2011
Tim Edwards

Sky anchor’s political bonkbuster features bad sex and a glowing endorsement from Lord Mandelson

The more liberal-minded viewers of Sky TV who periodically call for Kay Burley to be sacked from her day job as a news presenter may wish to reconsider their campaign following the release of extracts from her "racy" debut novel.

First Ladies is a political bonkbuster telling the story of "suave"
married prime minister Julian Jenson and his two lovers, one of whom is Kay Burley... sorry, one of whom is "sexy TV reporter Isla McGovern". The publisher optimistically describes the book as "an irresistible cross between The Thick of It and Jilly Cooper".

Early reviews of First Ladies, which is published in May, have been derisive, with Zoe Williams in the Guardian observing that "the political shenanigans are even more embarrassing than either the sex or the cliches that vertically infect each act like cross-generational syphilis. Seriously, the politics is terrible. The politics make you want to hide your eyes".

The poor reviews will come as no surprise to those who question her abilities as a newscaster. Last September, Labour MP Chris Bryant described her live on air as "a bit dim". In May the same year she was accused of political bias after advising an electoral reform campaigner, whom she was supposed to be interviewing, that his protests would make no difference and he might as well go home. Hence the 'Sack Burley' campaign.

But Burley has powerful friends - possibly including her ultimate boss, Rupert Murdoch. This can surely be the only explanation for the glowing endorsement of her political insight from no less a political heavyweight than Lord Mandelson.

Never mind what others might say, Burley's publishers HarperCollins (prop: Rupert Murdoch) found the perfect man to give them a kind review to plant on the book's cover - Lord Mandelson, whose memoir The Third Man they published last year.
Mandy's tribute on the book's cover reads: "Kay Burley uses her unparalleled knowledge of the worlds of politics, media and celebrity to racy effect."

Here's one such racy passage - in which the caddish Julian makes love to Isla McGovern's love rival, magazine editor Sally Simpson: "At that exact moment, Julian was expertly using his silver tongue to offer intense gratification to Sally as he held on firmly to her taut, tanned thighs, tightly gripped around his handsome face. Lithe and muscular, he effortlessly lifted her from the bed and onto his broad shoulders. Sally felt all the excitement and exhilaration of a fairground ride as he continued to offer intense pleasure before she was finally sated and he lowered her gently back onto the round bed."

If nothing else, First Ladies looks like an early contender for the Literary Review's 2011 Bad Sex Awards.

And, finally... Burley signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins. There's another one to come.

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