All male panel shows are now a no go | Danny Cohen BBC Director

Danny-CohenDanny Cohen, the Director of BBC Television has spoken up about his plans on improving equality and gender balancing at the national television corporation and focusing in on the lack of female balanced panels in such shows as Have I Got News for You, QI, Mock the Week.

Speaking to the Observer, he stated: “We’re not going to have any more panel shows with no women on them. It’s not acceptable.”

Meanwhile, a BBC spokesperson added: “There may be very rare occasions where shows that were already recorded – or whose panels were already booked ahead of the order – still have all-male lineups, but hopefully the change should really become apparent.” In December, BBC management told producers there was “no excuse” for not having women on comedy panel shows, particularly after new sex-representation objectives were set by the BBC Trust last July.BBC chief Danny Cohen says women will feature on QI and Mock The Week panels

Qi-Panel
The QI Panel – Ready and waiting for more women?

As part of the new objectives, BBC director general Tony Hall was asked to improve gender-representation.

“People said for years there are no funny women and it was a struggle to get women on shows like Have I Got News for You.” -Kate Kinninmont

The growing trend in female comediennes is rising and becoming more and more prime time and let’s not forget that there is improvements on the abundance of commentators and critics in Sports and documentaries but one area of male dominance has always been the case on comedy and satire panel shows. But forcing a television producer to increase their quotas of female panelists surely needs some way to go to make sure that viewers are not feeling that female panelists are there to make up the numbers (or indeed the women in the panels?)  But what this does provide is a prime time platform for some of the most talented people, whether male or female and perhaps give funny women an opportune platform?  But it is not only satire and comedy that are lacking female input, political shows such as Question Time must also further their gender balancing reach as isn’t it in todays European world, three premier positions are held by women?

“People said for years there are no funny women and it was a struggle to get women on shows like Have I Got News for You.” Kate Kinninmont, chief executive of the Women in Film and Television group  “But that has improved, as has the number of women on Question Time.”

Perhaps they should look here first? WATC friends, Funny Women. The largest growing female comedy community?

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