Bafta TV Awards: Host Sue Perkins lambasts TV industry sexism

'I know what you're thinking. Not another woman hosting an awards show, when will it end?'

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The Independent Culture

Sue Perkins took sharp aim at sexism in the television industry as she commanded the stage as the host of the Bafta TV awards.

It was the former Great British Bake Off star's first year at the helm as regular host Graham Norton is still in Kiev following the Eurovision Song Contest.

Perkins had already made it clear she was only “keeping his seat warm” and opening the show, she drew attention to how rare it is for a woman for host high-profile ceremonies.

She said: “I know what you're thinking. Not another woman hosting an awards show, when will it end?

“I find it a little like Halley's Comet, just a little less frequent.”

Perkins used her platform in front of a room of industry professionals to draw attention to the double standards applied to women in showbusiness.

Introducing the award for male performance in a comedy programme, she said it answered “the age old question, are men funny?”

She introduced the leading actress category by saying the main criterion was to be paid “just under the same amount as the leading actor”.

And Perkins welcomed Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley to the stage, saying they proved that “anyone who says there aren't roles for women of a certain age are wrong, as long as they write them themselves”.

Arriving on stage to present the leading actress gong, James Nesbitt echoed Perkins' point, saying he was wearing a badge supporting Equal Representation for Actresses.

He added: “For one female role there are three male roles. As the father of two girls, that should change.”

Witness For The Prosecution star Kim Cattrall also sported the same pin to raise awareness about the lack of roles for older actresses.

Arriving at the ceremony, the former Sex And The City star, 60, said she is appreciating the work she is now getting in Europe: “They know what to do with women my age, we should get the great leading roles that men get.”