Right of reply: Beryl Vertue, producer of A Woman's Guide to Adultery
Thursday 09 December 1993
'A Women's Guide to Adultery paints women as rather desperate and sex-starved, happy to shaft other women by bedding their husbands . . . It just treats the subject like a sitcom.' Joe Joseph, Times
'I detected a definite dilution in the irony and moral acerbity that gives the book its force.' Max Davidson, Daily Telegraph
'If it was supposed to show women's perspectives on sex, sin, love and marriage, it didn't. If you want that, watch Brookside. There is more insight, truth and beauty in Jackie Corkhill's denim jacket.' Mark Thomas, Mail on Sunday
'Adultery has a different meaning, I think, for men and women. The bad, niggly criticisms are all from men and I wonder whether there's a point there. I'm talking here like a feminist even though I'm one of the world's worst feminists - but the programme demonstrates that women's attitudes to adultery are far different to those of men. I always said 'I don't think the men will like it' because I felt they would think we were getting at them and maybe not see what we were really saying.
'It would be fairer to criticise it when they've seen all three episodes because there will be a lot of changes. The series is about the growth of people through adultery and how it affects different people in different ways. And adultery never works: one person's got to lose; we show different ways in which people lose.
'What annoys me is where critics say the writer has written cliched dialogue. The whole point is that adultery is a cliche. We had another cliche in Episode 2, when Theresa Russell said: 'I'm strong, I'll wait.' I can't tell you how many women say that, they say it and they do it. It's not a cliche, it's a truth.
'I don't know about suggestions that the topic is approached lightly. I think we've actually been very serious and very truthful about it. Also, people don't turn on if it's all angst, so we are making a point and making some humour out of it as well. Where I am right is about the audience. We had over 10 million; so the people for whom it is designed are enjoying it. And in the end, we have sought to entertain.'
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