Veteran broadcaster Adam Bolton is set to leave Sky News after more than 30 years of saying there was a “movement against baby boomers” in the television world.
After joining the channel as a political editor for its 1989 launch, the 62-year-old public-school-educated Oxford graduate has worked as a traveling editor since 2014.
It is said that Bolton’s departure was a mutual decision, although he said in an end-of-service interview that television was now “very sensitive to the idea of diversity”.
Talking to times “I must only accept to a certain point that you and I,’ the 63-year-old writer, Mr. Bolton told him, “We’re baby boomers.
“And there’s kind of a move against the Boomers and the fact that we have less time at the peak is the way things are.”
Mr Bolton added: “The direction that Sky News wants to take over the next few years does not seem to suit me particularly well.
There is always a changing of the guard on TV. Television is very sensitive to the idea of diversity.
Speaking of fellow Sky veterans Dermot Murnaghan, 63, and Kay Burley, 60, Mr Bolton added simply: “We had our day.”
The announcement of his departure comes after John Riley, the head of Sky News, said television was moving away from the era of the “powerful broadcaster”.
Adam Bolton with his wife, former New Labor publicist Angie Hunter, in London on October 15
Mr Bolton was among those who criticized Sky presenters Kay Burley (left) and Beth Rigby (right) for breaching lockdown rules last year. They were photographed together in London in July 2019
Bolton interviewed then-Secretary of State Boris Johnson at Sky Studios in May 2017
Mr. Bolton was depicted in a propaganda poster from the time Sky News launched in 1989
Mr. Bolton said he did not know if ageism played a role. He said: Jon Snow [of Channel 4 News] He’s 74 and he’s going.
“Huh [Edwards] In his sixties. It has been suggested that he may not be long at the BBC. I think there’s a change of guard, and that might make sense.
When Adam Bolton and Alastair Campbell got into a big fight on air
Adam Bolton and Alastair Campbell got involved in an extraordinary on-air feud in May 2010 after the then-Sky News political editor accused him of not having “actual interest” in the country.
Mr Bolton had asked the former Labor rotation doctor if it was in the “national interest” for Gordon Brown to spend another four years “limp” as prime minister.
Campbell responded by saying that Mr Bolton – who is married to another former New Labor doctor Angie Hunter – was upset that David Cameron had not been elected prime minister.
Adam Bolton loses his temper with Aleister Campbell live on Sky News in May 2010
“I’m not offended,” replied an angry Mr. Bolton. “I am tired of being told what you think.” Mr. Campbell replied, “I don’t care what you’re tired of.”
The controversy escalated when Mr. Bolton accused Campbell of “preparing” a PR strategy with Peter Mandelson to allow Labor to cling to power.
Referring to reports that Mr. Campbell and Lord Mandelson urged the prime minister to sacrifice himself so that the Liberal Democrats would agree to a deal with Labour, Mr. Bolton told Mr. Campbell: “You’re totally unelected, you planned it. He (Gordon Brown) has a party. Politician… You cooked this one, with Peter Mandelson.
“Calm down,” Campbell told the announcer, adding, “This is live on TV. Dignity.”
“I really do care about this country,” replied Mr. Bolton. ‘And you don’t think I care?’ Mr. Campbell asked. ‘I don’t think there is,’ Mr. Bolton said.
The irony is that as far as we can tell that the demographics of people who watch TV are related to our age, I make no complaints about this.
“My position is that I fully understand that people want to develop the channel for the next generation, and I will continue to do things with Sky, contractually as it was.”
Mr. Bolton attended three fee-paying schools during her upbringing – Tower House School in London, St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne, Berkshire and Westminster School.
He then received degrees from Christchurch University, Oxford and Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, and also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Plymouth in 2013.
Mr. Bolton is married to Angie Hunter, a former New Labor doctor and a former aide to Tony Blair. They married at St James’ Church in London on July 22, 2006.
Mr Bolton, who joined Sky after moving from TV-AM, was famous for swallowing a fly live in 2014 before coughing and continuing.
And in 2010, he got into a major on-air feud with former labor doctor Alistair Campbell.
Mr. Bolton fingered Mr. Campbell and shouted, ‘I’m sick of being told what I think! Don’t tell me what I think!’
Bolton has previously said he is so eager to remain politically neutral that he has not voted in a general election since 1979.
Mr Bolton was among those who criticized Sky presenters Kay Burleigh and Beth Rigby for breaching lockdown rules last year.
He warned that their breach raised questions about “the credibility of our press.”
Since 2014, Mr. Bolton has been a traveling editor at Sky News, covering elections and establishing his own programs such as All Out Politics.
Riley had previously described Bolton as a giant in the political press.
Mr. Bolton’s colleague, Piers Morgan, tweeted today: “Giant of political news broadcasting. Congratulations on the awesome roles, Adam Bolton.
Bolton’s departure was announced just seven months after fellow veteran Jon Snow announced he would be leaving Channel 4 at the end of this year.
The 73-year-old, who spent 32 years as the show’s host, said he felt it was time to move on. However, he will continue to face “longer-format projects” in the future for Channel 4.
Mr. Snow covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela, and the election of Donald Trump – and he often did so in an elegant tie.
Mr. Bolton swallowed a fly live on Sky News in 2014 before coughing and continuing
Mr. Bolton attended fee-paying Tower House in London as a child (left) and joined Sky News in 1989 from TV-AM before facing the 97th network special election (right)
The move came a month after Mr Snow – who has two daughters from a previous relationship – became a new father.
He and his wife, Zimbabwean academic Precious Longa, 46, had a baby boy with a surrogate in March after “several medical setbacks and miscarriages”.
Mr. Snow said he “enjoyed every minute” of the show.
“It brought me adventure, as well as sadness in some of the stories I had to pass on as well as joy in reporting on others,” he added.
Mr. Bolton participates in the annual Parliamentary Rehabilitation Pancake Race in February 2012
Mr. Bolton at his wedding to Angie Hunter at St James’s Church in London in July 2006
Adam Bolton with then-Prime Minister Tony Blair in April 2005 for an interview with Sky News
Jon Snow, who is due to leave Channel 4 at the end of this year, and his wife Precious Longa celebrate BAFTA Fellowship in May 2015
A journalist is no stranger to making headlines himself. In 2017, he was accused of chanting “f*** the Tories” in Glastonbury.
At the time, he said he “can’t remember” what had been chanted. But they were said to have been “reminded of his responsibilities” about neutrality as a result.
He also sparked controversy in 2019 when he commented on the Brexit rally that he had “never seen so many whites in one place before”. This led to more than 2,700 viewers complaining to Ofcom.
Snow, who began his career at LBC in 1973, became the lead presenter on Channel 4 News in 1989.