Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.
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Writing in this week’s New Statesman (well, New Stateswoman – for one week only), Amanda Platell (who, it surprises me to find, I’ve never blogged about before, despite my simmering dislike) said the following (you have to pay to access the full article, but here‘s the link in case you’re particularly interested):
From dawn to dusk, TV executives are still opting for the boy-meets-girl presenter combination: enter Dermot Murnaghan and Natasha Kaplinksky, the former on the back of a serious journalistic career, the latter on the strength of her dazzling cha-cha and equally blinding ambition.
If young female presenters are chosen for their lip gloss and dancing ability, who will be surprised when, in 20 years’ time, there are no contenders for the heavy-weight hard-news jobs?
And, as much as I don’t like agreeing with her, I am forced to do so here. I think she’s probably got a point. There are currently no major news or political programmes anchored by women – though I’m surprised to see that Ms Platell chose not to promote her dire televisual car-wreck in her column this week as an example of a female success. I actually think that women can be much better than men at presenting certain stories, and I think that a political show led by a woman could be very successful – Perhaps a good idea in the search for a replacement for Frost? Unfortunately, I can’t think of any women in the media world at present who could pull it off, with the possible exception of Kirsty Young. The list Platell provides of high-flying women all seem too nice or too stern for such a show.
We need some new, good quality, female blood in the news-sphere – not fluffy celebrities like Natasha, who I’ve certianly never really warmed to on Breakfast, simply because she sees herself as ‘above’ the programme. Where are the female Paxmans, Dimblebys, and McDonalds? Someone should go out and find them.