Sky News, Clegg warned

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg faces a much tougher challenge ahead of the second leader’s debate this evening, due to it taking place on Sky News.

Mr. Clegg has been warned by leading party officials to “take it easy this time”, as performing on Sky Television is notoriously regarded as a much more difficult proposition and has proved the undoing of several major stars, such as Eamonn Holmes and Harry Enfield.

A spokesman for the Liberal Democrats said yesterday: “Nick can’t afford to get too clever – after all, this is Sky. The best thing you can do on Sky is play safe – stick to the basics. And don’t, for God’s sake, try anything tongue-in-cheek or with any degree of irony, as you’ll just end up looking stupid. How many times have we seen broadcasters – successful broadcasters – from the terrestrials try their hand on Sky only to end up with egg on their faces? There’s something about that corporation which brings out the worst in even the most capable performers. Maybe it’s the dense residual atmosphere of Murdoch’s unrelenting, bitter, Australian hatred or something, I don’t know.

“What I do know is that, if Nick’s performance on ITV last week was shown on Sky instead, then he’d have looked like a major prick, and David Cameron would have wiped the floor with him. Imagine that – being outwitted by David Cameron. In day-to-day life that just doesn’t bear thinking about, but once you get into the Sky building, the rules change completely. Take the example of Eamonn Holmes, which I know you’ll probably cite in the second paragraph of your story – a few years back he was riding high on GMTV and the National Lottery. He was every housewife’s favourite – a down-to-earth, cheeky chap with an incredibly calm and reliable demeanour in front of camera. He could have turned his hand to pretty much anything – except Sky, of course. Now he’s on Sky, he’s just a miserable, bloated, grey cunt who nobody watches. Talking of miserable, bloated, grey cunts who nobody watches, isn’t Adam Boulton hosting this one? Mind you, he’s a step-up from the host of the last debate, seeing as he’s not a convicted drink-driver.”

The second leader’s debate is set to take place at 10pm on Sky News (Channel 501).

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