Sky Sports News presenter Hayley McQueen revealed she cried live on air after seeing news footage of children escaping Ukraine and fathers saying goodbye to their children as Russian forces advanced on Kyiv.
The Scottish TV presenter, 42, got emotional while presenting a pre-recorded interview with John Stones which followed a segment about sport stars who have been affected by Russia’s invasion.
McQueen said today she had just been watching her Sky News colleagues reporting from the Ukraine capital Kyiv and got upset when she saw a little girl clutching a teddy bear under each arm, reminding her of her daughter Ayla.
The presenter was wearing a blue top and a yellow skirt – the colors of the Ukrainian flag – to show her support for the war-torn country amid Russia’s invasion.
Viewers were quick to praise McQueen for her ‘courageous’ gesture, while others said they hoped the presenter was ‘feeling OK’ after the ‘difficult’ report.
Hayley McQueen – showing her support by wearing the colors of the Ukraine flag – said she cried live on air after she had just seen footage of children escaping Ukraine and fathers saying goodbye to their children
Woman and children of the Donetsk region of Ukraine were evacuated on February 20 due to the Russian invasion
Posting on Instagram today, McQueen said: ‘I’ve covered many tragic stories on Sky Sports over the years & pride myself on remaining professional & keeping emotions in check but for some reason yesterday really got to me.
‘Since becoming a mother I guess I think about the world differently & have definitely become a lot more sensitive.
‘Anyhow I got a bit upset on air briefly, we started with reports on how sport is reacting to the Russian invasion of Ukraine & I’d just been watching my Sky News colleagues reporting from Kyiv.
‘It was images of children escaping Ukraine, fathers saying goodbye to their children, one little girl in particular was clutching a teddy bear under each arm all wrapped up in a snowsuit and hat just like my Ayla.
‘I’m a little embarrassed it got to me whilst on air but I couldn’t get the thoughts out of my head.
‘I know we have to remain impartial as journalists but I wore colors as a little something to let Ukrainians, my Ukrainian friends & work colleagues know I am thinking of them standing in solidarity in the darkest of times.
‘Thanks for the messages of concern, all my thoughts right now are with the people of Ukraine & all those effected.’
As McQueen presented a segment about sports stars who have been affected by Russia’s invasion, she became emotional
Afterwards, a number of people praised McQueen for wearing blue and yellow and for bravely carrying on with the segment despite the emotion.
Taking to Twitter, one supporter said: ‘Hope @HayleyMcQueen is feeling ok. Sounded like she started to cry during that last report off-screen’.
Another added: ‘Not sure what happened but @HayleyMcQueen seemed to have started to cry mid report on @SkySportsNews’.
Support for McQueen continued to pour in as a third supporter penned: ‘Loving @HayleyMcQueen wearing blue and yellow on@SkySportsNews’.
While a fourth wrote: ‘Thank you @HayleyMcQueen for your’ – followed by blue and yellow heart emojis – ‘this morning. Touch of class and courage. So hope all ok with you. That was a difficult moment but you recovered brilliantly. Sending every good wish to you and yours.’
Russian forces entered Ukraine’s second largest city of Kharkiv today after failing in their overnight efforts to seize control of the capital city of Kyiv
As fighting continues to rage in Ukraine, Kyiv and Moscow will hold peace talks at the border with Belarus, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed today.
The Ukrainian President’s office said the two delegations will meet ‘without preconditions’ near the Pripyat River, to the north of Chernobyl
Russia has so far failed to capture Ukraine’s capital city Kyiv during fighting on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
But Russian forces entered Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, on Sunday morning, where street battles were reported to be taking place, while pictures appeared to show one Russian military vehicle on fire.
UN reports that at least 240 Ukrainian civilians have been killed so far.
At least 200,000 people fled Ukraine to three countries, with 150,000 said to have crossed into Poland alone.