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Channel 4 viewers have ‘chills’ after female reporter appears to break major 'protocol'

Channel 4 viewers have ‘chills’ after female reporter appears to break major 'protocol'

Former Newsnight lead anchor Emily Maitlis covered the general election alongside Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Channel 4 viewers have 'chills' after Emily Maitlis appeared to break major 'protocol' last week.

During last Thursday's (4 July) coverage of the general election, the former BBC Newsnight lead anchor was joined by the lead presenter of Channel 4 News, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, to cover the results.

The pair were also accompanied by The Rest is Politics podcast hosts, Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart.

However, viewers were quick to notice a 'huge' switch-up to the programming layout. Have a look:

Over the weekend, presenter and columnist Nicola Thorp took to Instagram to share a snippet from the segment, which saw Maitlis sit on the camera to the left of Guru-Murthy.

She captioned the post starting off by saying this seating arrangement was 'annoyingly rare'.

"Male broadcasters traditionally sit on the left hand side of the screen because our eyes are drawn to that side first (we read left to right)," Thorp explained.

"The positions are reversed on news channels in countries where people read right to left."

She continued: "Maitlis sitting in the 'lead seat' gave me chills. How sad is it that it’s 2024 this was the first thing that stood out."

Historically, we've seen male presenters seemingly always sit on the left-hand side of the TV sofa.

Think; Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty, Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, Philip Scofield and Holly Willoughby, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid and Bill Turnbull and Louise Minchin.

Now, in broadcasting circles, it's common that the more senior host of the pair usually occupies the left-hand side of the screen known.

However, this was far from the case for 47-year-old Minchin, who had reported on BBC Breakfast for a decade alongside presenting The One Show, The Today Programme on BBC Radio 4, BBC News, Missing Live and Real Rescues when she was made to sit on the camera right to Dan Walker, 38, a former sport presenter with relatively little broadcasting experience in comparison.

Emily Maitlis sat on the left-hand side of the camera during the general election coverage. (Channel 4)
Emily Maitlis sat on the left-hand side of the camera during the general election coverage. (Channel 4)

According to the BBC, producers did some test recordings with Minchin on the left, but ultimately decided the format 'didn't work' and put her on the right-hand side of Walker.

Viewers were shocked by the decision, with Adele Clarke telling Radio Times: "I was annoyed to see 'new boy' Dan Walker seated on the left, in Bill Turnbull’s own place, before far more experienced news presenter Louise Minchin remained in the 'number two' position on the right.

"How long will it take the BBC (and most other news stations) to catch up with the rest of us in the 21st century? Be brave – try seating a woman on the left and see how the world will keep turning."

A BBC spokesman said: "There is no seniority in terms of who sits where on the BBC Breakfast sofa. It’s all about judging which is the best camera angle for the presenters."

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4

Topics: Celebrity, Channel 4, News, Politics, TV And Film, UK News, BBC