Adam Boulton says 'baby boomers have had our day' as he leaves Sky News after 33 years

·Freelance Writer
·4-min read
Adam Boulton is leaving Sky News after 33 years with the channel. (Handout/Getty)
Adam Boulton is leaving Sky News after 33 years with the channel. (Adrian Green/Getty)

Sky News presenter Adam Boulton has spoken of a 'changing of the guard in television due to diversity' as he announced his departure from the channel after 33 years.

The veteran newsreader, 62, who currently presents Sky’s All Out Politics show, will step down at the end of the year, he has revealed in an interview with the Times.

During the interview, Boulton said “baby-boomers” like himself had to make way for new faces on screen.

He said: “I've just got to accept to a certain point that you and I, we're tail-end baby-boomers.

“And there's a kind of move against the baby-boomers and the fact that we've had less time at the peak is just the way it goes.”

Adam Boulton presenting outside a snowy Downing Street in 2004. (Reuters)
Adam Boulton presenting outside a snowy Downing Street in 2004. (Reuters)

He added: “It looks like the direction which Sky News wants to go over the next few years is not one that's a particularly good fit for me.

“There’s always a changing of the guard in television. Television is very sensitive to the idea of diversity.”

Currently the editor-at-large, Boulton has been with the broadcaster since it began in 1989 and, as its political editor, interviewed British prime ministers from David Cameron to Sir Alec Douglas-Home.

Watch: Adam Boulton tells viewers 'I don't know why he's talking to a tree' after Cameron interview

Boulton insisted the decision to leave Sky was a mutual one and that he does not see a future for himself with the broadcaster in the direction they are planning to go in.

He hinted that fellow presenters Dermot Murnaghan and Kay Burley, who are also in their 60s, may not be with the channel for much longer either.

Reacting to Boulton’s announcement, head of Sky News John Ryley said: “Adam Boulton has been a hugely significant figure, both in the growth of Sky News and British broadcasting as a whole.

“Adam was the first political editor to treat politics as a dynamic, changing story, combining live commentary with video.

Adam Boulton has interviewed numerous prime ministers, including Tony Blair in 2005. (PA)
Adam Boulton has interviewed numerous prime ministers, including Tony Blair in 2005. (PA)

“He also played a key role in bringing about the first Leaders’ Debates in 2010. I will miss his wise counsel.”

Jeremy Darroch, executive chairman of Sky, said that Boulton had “helped shape the DNA of Sky News”, adding: “It has been an enormous pleasure and inspiration to work with Adam over my 18 years at Sky.

“He has been at the forefront of the British political landscape – breaking news and setting the agenda.”

Adam Boulton became the first British television reporter to conduct a joint interview with US president George W Bush and his wife Laura in 2008. (PA)
Adam Boulton became the first British television reporter to conduct a joint interview with US president George W Bush and his wife Laura in 2008. (PA)

Fellow Sky presenter Kay Burley tweeted: “My dear friend and colleague Adam Boulton calling it a day. Sky News would not have been a success without his insightful expertise.”

The channel’s political editor, Beth Rigby, tweeted: “Adam’s leaving after 33 years. A hugely significant force, not in just our newsroom, but in the very fabric of British politics and broadcasting.

“I grew up watching Adam and was lucky enough to work with him. An absolute titan.”

Key moments in Adam Boulton's 33-year career at Sky News

  • 1989: Asked to form the politics team for the launch of Sky News, staying as its political editor for 25 years.

  • 2008: Boulton became the first British television reporter to conduct a joint interview with US president George W Bush and his wife Laura.

  • 2010: After playing a key role in bringing about televised leaders’ debates ahead of the general election, Boulton hosted Sky News' debate, the second in a series of three between Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

  • 2010: Involved in an on-air spat with Labour’s former head of communications, Alastair Campbell, who accused Boulton of being “upset” that David Cameron had not won the general election outright.

  • 2014: Boulton swallowed a fly live on air while broadcasting about Cameron’s reshuffle outside 10 Downing Street. He told viewers what had happened but carried on with his broadcast.

  • 2018: Leaked footage showed Boulton shouting and swearing at Sky colleague Beth Rigby during an off-air incident. He later apologised to Rigby.

  • 2019: While reporting on Theresa May’s last speech as prime minister, Boulton, who was wearing a white suit, sat on a Mars bar. Rigby wiped away the melting chocolate from the back of his suit.

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