Sky News will need to fill unexpected gaps in its “after dark” line-up following the news that two of its biggest stars are now living and working in North Korea and cannot be contacted to determine when – or if – they will be returning to Australia.
Veteran journalist and commentator Peter Gleeson has taken up a position as chief newsreader with North Korean State Television (main picture) replacing iconic North Korean TV presenter Ri Chun-hee who has retired aged 76.
A Sky News spokesperson, Noah Vuers, said another of the subscriber network’s big names, Peta Credlin, had also taken up residence in the “Hermit Kingdom” and has already been filled in as part of her crucial new role – an important position directly under North Korean leader Kim Jong Un .
“It seems that when Chun-hee announced her retirement a few months ago after 48 years on air, Kim Jong Un ordered a worldwide search for news anchors with the same ability to forcefully present blatantly one-sided propaganda with no regard for the truth,” Mr Vuers said.
“He insisted the replacement should be another woman, and finally he was given a shortlist consisting of just two names: Peta Credlin and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“Peta agreed to fly to Pyongyang last weekend for an audition even though Kim Jong Un had already decided that she had the job after seeing some Sky News tapes of her in action.
“Peta had asked fellow Sky presenter Peter Gleeson to tag along on the visit as a sort of minder to ensure she came to no harm.
“But when Kim saw and heard Peter giving Peta some presentation tips he quickly changed his mind and decided Gleeso should be the new face of North Korean TV News.
“Gleeso didn’t want the job but Kim and his associates can be very persuasive.
“Peta would have returned to Australia by now if Kim Jong Un hadn’t taken a shine to her and proposed marriage, or more correctly insisted on it.
“They do make a lovely couple (pictured) although we’re not quite sure how Peta feels about her imminent marriage because nobody has been able to contact her since she landed in North Korea.
“We do know her current husband, former Liberal Party heavyweight Brian Loughnane, is not too pleased and has asked the Prime Minister to do all he can to make contact with her through diplomatic channels.
“Nobody has spoken to Gleeso since he’s been on air in North Korea and he’s not answering his mobile phone which just diverts to its message bank.
“We have watched and re-watched some of his first news broadcasts and, although we can’t be sure without doing further analysis, we think he’s asking for help by blinking some sort of message in Morse code as he reads each bulletin,” Mr Vuers said.