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From Narrative Crafting to Near Disaster: Beth Rigby’s Tense Preparation for Grilling Starmer and Sunak



How Beth Rigby Developed a Strategy for Interviewing Starmer and Sunak and How a Morning Run Nearly Derailed Her Plans

Guidance from experienced broadcaster Kay Burley helped political editor Beth Rigby strategize for the Sky News leadership event on Wednesday. However, her preparations nearly came to a disastrous halt due to an unexpected incident.

Friday, June 14, 2024, 5:

Beth Rigby disclosed her approach to developing a "narrative" for interviewing the leaders of the Labour and Conservative parties at a Sky News special event, and shared how an early morning jog nearly disrupted her plans.

Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak each faced a 45-minute interrogation during Sky News' Battle For Number 10 event in Grimsby, where they fielded questions from a selected audience.

First up to question both leaders was political editor Rigby, who revealed the details of preparing for, conducting, and nearly missing the major event.

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"Kay Burley advised me that entering television without preparation is setting yourself up for failure," she shared with former Labour MP Margaret Hodge on the Electoral Dysfunction podcast.

"Therefore, I brought these two guiding principles with me into a rigorous interview preparation session. You're bombarded with a ton of data, and you begin to piece together the story you wish to convey."

She explained that the key is to observe everything and then refine it down to a coherent storyline.

"She expressed skepticism about Starmer, questioning, 'How can you trust this guy?' That was her main concern."

"For Sunak, the issue was straightforward: you claim to have a definitive strategy and promise to execute it, so the question arises, what have the Conservatives achieved? And even more crucial, what have you accomplished personally?"

"Since you've served as prime minister, you put forward five commitments. Additionally, there's a wider issue concerning the perceived betrayals to the British populace."

Discover more: Exploring the Developments of the Sky News Event Online

Key Takeaways from the Leadership Gathering

However, the event nearly faced catastrophe even before it began.

"She recounted how she found herself wide awake at around five in the morning the previous night," mentioning that she could "sense the rush of adrenaline."

Thus, she opted to head out for a jog.

She recounted, "I realized I was approaching a dead end. When I tried to turn around, I almost collided with an oncoming car. It was a close call; I nearly got run over."

An unforeseen automobile accident occurred that day.

Send an email to the team at, tweet to @BethRigby on X, or forward a WhatsApp voice note to 07934 200 444.

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