Case studies

Richard Keys & Andy Gray- a warning to us all

What a row! 2 of the UK’s best known sports pundits have, or about to, been fired for being indiscreet while wearing microphones. I don’t much like soccer, and I don’t much like what I’ve seen of Richard Keys (for 20 years, Sky Sports’ anchor for soccer at the highest level), but I’ve always admired Andy Gray, for his forthright views, clearly expressed. Yin & Yang? But he and Keys did sound like a pair of dinosaurs when discussing a female referee, and she was right in the decision they accused her of fluffing.

So they said some crass things off air, but on Mic.  They were recorded, it was leaked to the press, they got into trouble, Gray was fired, Keys may yet be (He resigned, before being fired).  But should we be sorry?  I don’t think so.

When you’re a professional presenter, you’re always ‘on mic’ aren’t you?  You say anything out of turn, before, during or after your speech, and you have to be responsible for it, don’t you?

George Orwell created 6 rules for writers, way back in the 1930’s.  The sixth of these rules is- break any of theses rules before saying anything barbarous.  The rules are as useful for broadcasters as for for writers.  And Keys can whinge all he likes about ‘dark forces’, but he broke one of Orwell’s, and society’s rules. For the whole, weird whinge, see here.

Richard Keys attacks ‘dark forces at work’ in Sky Sports sexism row – Telegraph.

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
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