You don’t want people judging your decor

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Journalists presenting major news broadcasts from their homes ensures programmes remain on air throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but it also offers nosey viewers a chance to indulge one of Britain’s major obsessions: snooping around other people’s houses.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy, who has been co-presenting Channel 4 News from his home in recent days, is aware that people will be scrutinising what they can see in the background closely: “Obviously you don’t want to show very much of your house because you don’t want everyone judging your home decor. You need to create a corner that doesn’t cause too much offence or give away too many of the cracks in your wallpaper.”

Channel 4 News and other news programmes have attracted record audiences since the coronavirus outbreak, and the image of a journalist or guest expert broadcasting to the nation in front of a well-stocked bookshelf in a Victorian house has become a well-established trope.

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