Dara O'Briain Blasts BBC Over Ban Of All-Male Comedy Panels

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Irish comedian Dara O'Brien has spoken out against the BBC for the television network's recent ban of all-male comedy panels.

The 42 year-old, who host's BBC2's comedy show 'The Mock Of The Week', says this new ruling will make any future female comedians look like "the token women."

O'Brien also highlighted the fact that comedy by nature, especially stand-up, has much more male acts.

"I wouldn't have announced it, is what I'd say, because it means Katherine Ryan or Holly Walsh, who've been on millions of times, will suddenly look like the token woman," he told the Radio Times.

"It would have been better if it had evolved without showing your workings, if you know what I mean. Legislating for token woman isn't much help," he continued.

Adding, "A certain number of women want to go into comedy and they should be cherished and nurtured, but you're not going to shift the fact that loads more men want to do it."

The TV host also pointed out the fact that producers on his show, 'Mock of the Week', struggle to find different female comediennes, due to their not being very many.

"We bring through female comics earlier than we do male comics because there is such a tiny pool of female stand-ups. But this makes it even tougher for them," he said.

O'Brien thinks there are many others domains in which gender equality is more of an issue then it is in comedy, especially outside of television.

"I wish a tenth of the energy that was put into the women-on-panel-shows debate was put into women in computer coding, in which there are hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe, and 11 per cent of them are done by women," Dara explains.

These criticisms come after the director of BBC Television, Danny Cohen, stated, "We're not going to have panel shows on any more with no women on them. You can't do that. It's not acceptable."

Dara O'Briain
O'Briain claims there arn't enough female comediennes 


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