Sky news presenter Kay Burley was suspended in December after she broke Covid rules during her 60th birthday party celebrations, when she invited four colleagues back to her home. Here’s what she’s been up to during her time away from work
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Sky news anchor Kay Burley is returning to work on Monday after a six month suspension for breaking Covid rules.
Back in December, Kay invited four colleagues back to her home to continue celebrations after she'd been out for dinner to celebrate her 60th birthday in London.
The presenter admitted breaking the rules by entering a restaurant to "spend a penny," but at the time did not mention the private gathering she'd hosted, which went against Covid regulations.
Other Sky staff including political editor Beth Rigby, north of England correspondent Inzamam Rashid and presenter Sam Washington were photographed at the celebrations, and Kay's employers at Sky released a statement declaring their "disappointment" at the actions.
Kay Burley and Beth Rigby both released public apologies for their actions, and a letter written by Kay which was circulated amongst her colleagues at Sky read: "Dear all, I'm an idiot. I'm really very sorry.
Sky News presenter Kay Burley pictured on her rule-breaking night out last year which led to her suspension
"I know I have let so many of you down. There's really nothing else I can say to excuse my actions."
Kay had been calling out the actions of politicians throughout 2020 for their problematic Covid behaviour which critics saw as a further signal of her hypocrisy.
But what has Kay been doing during her time off? The anchor's six-month suspension ends this coming Monday June 7, when she'll be back on the Sky News sofa in the mornings.
Six months away from work
Kay Burley visited South Africa in December, shortly after she was suspended
(Image: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA)
Over the past six months, she's been photographed a number of times.
On December 12 shortly after her 60th birthday incident in early December, Kay was pictured heading to the first class lounge at Heathrow Airport to board a flight to Africa, where she reportedly stayed at Richard Branson's exclusive game resort.
She tweeted before she took off that she was "always heading to my beloved Africa to sit with lions," confirming that the trip was not a response to her suspension.
Kay Burley celebrates return to Sky News after being suspended for breaching lockdown
Kay Burley hints at Sky News return following suspension after lockdown bash
It seemed she was taking a swipe at trolls and critics when she added, speaking of the lions, that they "kill for food not sport."
After her holiday Kay was forced to self-isolate for two weeks from everyone, including her own family, as she had been in South Africa around the time the new variant was causing great concern in the UK.
The dates of her trip meant her isolation period fell over Christmas.
Kay appeared on a charity edition of The Chase over Christmas
On Christmas Day itself, Kay tweeted a message to her followers from isolation, promoting her return to TV for an appearance on a charity special of The Chase.
It marked her first time back on TV since her suspension, but was likely to have been filmed before all of the drama.
"Merry Christmas everyone," she wrote. "Want to know how we fared against all five festive chasers in a charity special? Tune in at 5pm on @itv."
The anchor ended up shocking many viewers after getting a simple question wrong about Margaret Thatcher.
After presenter Bradley Walsh asked: "How many times was Margaret Thatcher reelected as Prime Minister?" Kay replied: "Three".
Volunteering at a food bank
The anchor was seen volunteering at a food bank in February
By February, Kay was using her spare time to do more charity work. This time she was volunteering at a food bank in London with the London's Community Kitchen charity, and was visible in a video shared on social media helping pack and distribute ready meals.
Dressed in a yellow hi-vis jacket, in the video Kay said: "We have lots of volunteers packing them, we have tons of them already."
In the online world, Kay has been sharing nostalgic images from her past, often with captions beginning 'the one where…,' celebrating high moments from her career and personal life.
The images include many of Kay on her travels, meeting "living legend" Idris Elba and when she made the first move for two cheese grandmasters as the World Championships when they were in London.
In April Kay reignited her spat with fellow broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer, calling her "rude and disrespectful, as per," after the talkRADIO host had mocked Kay in one of her tweets.
Also online in that same month, Kay edited her Twitter bio to remove any mention of her job at Sky, causing viewers to wonder whether or not Sky's longest-serving anchor would return.
But any fears of her ending her reign on the channel were extinguished when she announced her return this week. Kay will be back in her breakfast slot from Monday.