Too few female presenters on BBC radio? That’s Tory MP Nadine Dorries’s view. She wants mums to withhold their licence fees – because their daughters are not being given good female role models on air.
The failure of the BBC to promote women on radio was highlighted last week by Ed Vaizey, the culture minister. Figures from the BBC’s website show that at Radio 2 there are only eight female presenters out of 37. Only six of the 39 DJs at Radio 1 are women — fewer than in 1987 — and in BBC local radio there is only one woman presenting a breakfast show out of 50 such programmes.
So bravo Liz Kershaw – one of the BBC’s longest-serving female DJs. I interviewed Liz last week for an article in The Sunday Times. She told me that it took her 15 years to get her own show – on BBC Radio 6 Music.
“My boss once told me that just because I was mad about music it didn’t mean other women were. ‘You see, Liz, you’re not like other girls,’ he said. ‘Other girls don’t like guitars and bands. You’re not . . . how shall I put it? . . . feminine. You’ve got on because you’re like a bloke.’”
She promptly reported him to human resources. “He’s not my boss any more, he’s not in the BBC any more,” she said.
Do you think there are too few women on air? And would you withhold your licence fee in protest?