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July 31, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:09am

Talkradio’s Ross Kempsell becomes second ex-chicken to enter Downing Street

By James Walker

Talkradio political editor Ross Kempsell has become the second journalist to take up a role at Number 10 who once donned a chicken suit in the name of journalism.

The former Guido Fawkes chief reporter will join new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s team as a special adviser focused on reform of Whitehall and the public sector.

His move, first reported by The Spectator, comes after it was revealed that Johnson had appointed former Mirror Chicken journalist Lee Cain as his director of communications.

Press Gazette understands that Kempsell wore Guido’s chicken suit while on staff at the political news blog, which he left to join Rupert Murdoch’s Talkradio station in July last year.

Kempsell interviewed Johnson last month where the then-candidate for Prime Minister made his “do or die” Brexit pledge and revealed he painted model buses in his spare time.

Press Gazette has contacted Downing Street and Kempsell about his new role. Talkradio has confirmed that Kempsell is moving to Number 10.

His departure from Fleet Street received a mixed response from journalists on social media.

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Mail on Sunday deputy political editor Harry Cole tweeted that he was a “brilliant hack and a top man” whose move to politics would be journalism’s loss.

But Times Red Box editor Matt Chorley said: “Congrats to Ross, but every time a journalist crosses over it is a setback for those of us who think our role is to interrogate, expose and ridicule the powerful, not audition for a job with them.”

Guido tweeted: “Familiarity with the inside of a chicken suit is clearly a ticket to Downing Street.”

Picture: Wireless Group

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