A further bastion of male dominance has fallen after the BBC announced that Charlotte Green will become the first female voice to read the classified football results at 5pm on Saturday afternoons.
The former Radio 4 presenter will replace James Alexander Gordon, 77, who announced his retirement last month following throat surgery after nearly 40 years calling the scores.
Green will read the results as part of BBC 5 Live’s Sports Report programme, at 5pm every Saturday afternoon. She will also read the results to listeners across the world on the BBC World Service.
The appointment marks a surprise comeback for Green, 57, who took voluntary redundancy earlier this year, saying: “The BBC’s days of employing people who sound like me are more or less over.”
Once voted the most attractive female voice on national radio, Green must betray no evidence of her stated allegiance to Tottenham Hotspur when reading the scores.
Ms Green said: “I'm delighted to be offered this opportunity as I've been a football fan all my life. In fact as a six year old I used to sit at the dining room table reading the football scores out loud from the newspaper, so this really is a dream come true. It is a huge honour to take over from James Alexander Gordon.”
Richard Burgess, Head of BBC Radio Sport, said: “We are delighted to welcome Charlotte to 5 live and we are really looking forward to hearing her distinctive voice reading the classifieds, made so famous by James Alexander Gordon. She is a broadcaster of true calibre and I know she will bring clarity and warmth to the role.”
Green’s appointment will appease Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, who last month criticised the BBC over its “sexist” sports coverage and her shadow, Harriet Harman, who has urged the corporation to find more prominent broadcasting roles for women over 50.
Gordon decided that his voice was no longer strong enough to read the results after having his larynx removed in a cancer operation.
Men who refuse to accept their football results read by a woman will have to switch to Final Score, BBC1’s Saturday afternoon round-up. The scores are read by Mike West, who took over from veteran Tim Gudgin after his retirement two years ago.
Women are now breaking through BBC Sport’s football “grass ceiling”. Gabby Logan presented Final Score for three seasons and has covered for Gary Lineker on Match of the Day. Celina Hinchcliffe became the first woman to present an episode of the flagship highlights programme in 2005 but she has since defected to Sky Sports.
Jacqui Oatley became the first female football commentator on Match of the Day in 2007.
Test Match Special cricket reporter Kevin Howells, who concentrates on the county game, will read the Sports Report classifieds for the first weeks of the new season, which started last Saturday.
Charlotte Green – CV
Education: University of Kent - First-class BA in English and American Literature
1978 - Joins BBC as a studio manager in at the World Service. Reads out letters for PM and You and Yours. Becomes continuity announcer.
1998 - Begins 25 year news-reading stint on Radio 4 Today, PM programme and bulletins.
2005 - Joins Chris Evans’s Saturday afternoon show on Radio 2 to read phone numbers and announcements.
2008 - “Corpsing queen” collapses in mirth on Today after an item featuring the oldest known recording of the human voice.
January 2013 – Takes voluntary redundancy from Radio 4, and the BBC after 35 years, saying corporation won’t employ “posh” voices any more.
March – Joins Classic FM to present weekly Sunday afternoon show. Named radio broadcaster of the year at the 2013 Broadcasting Press Guild awards. The judges said her voice was “synonymous with Radio 4”.
August - BBC announces Green will read football results on Radio 5 Live from 28th September, taking over from James Alexander Gordon.