TalkTV host Kate McCann is ‘okay’ after fainting live on air during Tory leadership debate

TalkTV host Kate McCann is ‘okay’ after fainting and collapsing live on air during Tory leadership debate between shocked Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak

  •  Friends say TalkTV host is doing well after she fainted during yesterday’s debate
  • She’s a popular figure among Westminster journalists, and seen as a ‘rising star’ 
  • Worked at City AM, Sun, Telegraph and Sky before moving to her current role  

Friends of TalkTV presenter Kate McCann say she is ‘okay’ today after fainting live on air in front of a shocked Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak during last night’s Tory leadership debates. 

The spotlight has been firmly on the Westminster political correspondent since the dramatic incident, which brought the broadcast to a close. 

Miss McCann, who left her role as political correspondent at Sky News to join TalkTV as its political editor in January, is a highly popular figure among Westminster journalists, and considered a ‘rising star’ in her industry. 

The presenter, who is in her early thirties, graduated from Newcastle University in 2009 with a degree in Politics, and after a short stint as a parliamentary researcher joined the Guardian. 

After short stints as a political correspondent at financial newspaper City AM and aas a Whitehall correspondent at The Sun, she joined the Telegraph as one of its top political reporters. 

Kate McCann is a highly popular figure among Westminster journalists, and considered a 'rising star' in her industry

Kate McCann is a highly popular figure among Westminster journalists, and considered a ‘rising star’ in her industry 

Among her other achievements, Miss McCann was chair of the Press Gallery in 2018. She was only the second woman to hold the title in over 200 years.

Talking to Press Gazette about her move to talkTV earlier this year, Miss McCann said she was excited the network is able to ‘rip up all the rules and start again’.

She added that her family motto, which felt appropriate for the new venture, is: ‘Dare to be different.’

Discussing Miss McCann’s appointment, Scott Taunton, CEO of News UK Broadcasting, said that the journalist was ‘the perfect choice’ to be its political editor’.

He added that she is ‘one of the sharpest rising stars in the Lobby’.

Kate was highly commended at the Press Awards in 2017 for obtaining a copy of the Labour manifesto – the first time a party’s manifesto had been leaked to a newspaper in its entirety. 

Fellow journalists have sent their best wishes to Miss McCann following last night’s incident – which happened as she was presenting alone after co-host Harry Cole contracted Covid. 

Piers Morgan wrote: ‘I’ve seen some sneaky ways to make yourself the biggest star at @TalkTV but this is ridiculous @KateEMcCann – seriously, glad you’re OK.

‘You were brilliant until this happened, and will be brilliant in the rematch.’

The seasoned political journalist says her family motto is 'dare to be different', and says she is excited that talkTV is able to 'rip up the rulebook'

The seasoned political journalist says her family motto is ‘dare to be different’, and says she is excited that talkTV is able to ‘rip up the rulebook’ 

Fellow TalkTV host Tom Newton Dunn said: ‘I know from working with @KateEMcCann every night that she is one of the very best in the business at holding politicians to account.

‘She proved that in the first half hour of the debate, and she will prove that again. She is a fantastic talent and I’m hugely proud of her.’

And Sky News presenter Kay Burley added: ‘@KateEMcCann was doing a sensational job. So relieved to hear she’s OK. I’m sure the candidates will return to continue the debate under her expert stewardship. Get some rest Kate x.’ 

Miss McCann’s dramatic moment tonight happened as Ms Truss was answering a question around half-an-hour into the TalkTV/The Sun event.        

A loud noise caused the clearly worried Foreign Secretary to hold her face in shock as she exclaimed: ‘Oh my God!’. Ms Truss was then seen walking towards where Miss McCann was standing, while Mr Sunak went over to hold her hand. 

The broadcast feed was swiftly cut, with viewers shown the message: ‘We’re sorry for the disruption to this programme. We’re working hard to fix the issue and will return to normal programming soon.’

Friends said Miss McCann was doing well today following last night's incident (she is pictured with Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss)

Friends said Miss McCann was doing well today following last night’s incident (she is pictured with Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss) 

There was subsequently a long pause in the broadcast while viewers wondered what had happened in the studio, before a ‘medical issue’ was cited as being the cause of the disturbance.

Confirming the rest of the debate would no longer go ahead, TalkTV later said in a statement: ‘Kate McCann fainted on air tonight and although she is fine, the medical advice was that we shouldn’t continue with the debate. We apologise to our viewers and listeners.’

Both Tory leadership candidates raised the prospect of resuming their debate on TalkTV at a later date.

Posting to Miss McCann on Twitter, Mr Sunak wrote: ‘Good news that you’re already recovering. It was a great debate and I look forward to getting grilled by you again shortly!’

Ms Truss tweeted: ‘Relieved to hear @KateEMcCann is fine. Really sorry that such a good debate had to end. Look forward to catching up with Kate and the rest of the @TheSun @TalkTV team again soon.’    

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