Male Dominated BBC Panel Shows Facing a Change
It's time for women to feature prominently in panel shows, the BBC say
BBC bosses have decided that males dominate their panel shows, and it’s about time that changes. Starting soon, there will be “no excuse” for an all male panel on their various shows.
Lee Mack might not be too popular with his comments on the matter
BBC entertainment controller Mark Linsey said: “Comedy panel shows are always better for having a good mix of people and of course that must include women. I’m making it clear to production teams that there’s just no excuse for delivering all male guest lists.”
The changes have come about following the publication of a report last year, which was commissioned by the BBC for the Cultural Diversity Network. BBC2’s QI and Mock the Week were criticised for “rarely having women represented or only having "token women" on their programmes.”
Female comedians, including Victoria Wood, have in the past criticised BBC panel shows for being a 'male preserve'. Lee Mack, part of BBC1’s Would I Lie To You?, thinks men are better suited to being stand-up comedians as they are more competitive, making for better chats.
Speaking on Desert Island Discs last September, Mack said: “When men sit around and talk, they are very competitive. One person will tell an anecdote and the next person will try to top that. When you get six women together, they share a lot more.”
“They will be far more interested in what the other person has to say. The conservation is more interactive and less about individually showing off,” he added.
“The problem isn’t that there’s not enough women in panel games. 'The problem is there’s not enough women in comedy in general.” In 2012, writer Caitlin Moran said she had been asked to appear on "all the big panel shows" but turned them down because "I refuse to be the token woman".
"I think that's a boys' game that works for boys," she said. "It's not like they built it to screw women over, it's just that boys built it so they made it to work for boys. If I go on there as a token woman, it's not going to work for me," she said.