Gabby Logan: We need a female Bruce Forsyth on Saturday night TV

Video: The sport presenter said equality had come a long way but there was still more to do

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The Independent Culture

Gabby Logan has said equality on television will have reached "a nadir" when Strictly Come Dancing was hosted by a woman in her seventies and a man in his thirties.

The BBC sport presenter said it was great that two women in their forties now presented the prime-time show - Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman - but that a real sense of equality was a long way off.

"You look at Saturday night television and you've got two women in their forties hosting a prime-time television program with no man to be seen in that presenting duo so that's a first," she told London Live. "But whether there are women in their sixties and seventies? Probably less so and you do see more men of that age allowed to continue their careers."

Bruce Forsyth presented Strictly Come Dancing between 2004 and 2013, finishing at the age of 85. He has the Guinness World Record for the longest career as a male television entertainer: 72 years.

"I've always said that we'll have hit the balance, we'll have hit the kind of the nadir, when you have what was traditionally the Strictly Come Dancing presentation team of a man in his late seventies and a woman in her late thirties, when we've a woman in her late seventies and a man in his thirties as the duo," Logan continued. "Then perhaps we’ll have got some kind of equality, but I think that’s probably a way off."

The BBC faced a public backlash in 2009 when it axed veteran choreographer Arlene Phillips from the Strictly judging panel, replacing the then 66-year-old with Alesha Dixon, then 30.

Harriet Harman, the Equality Minister at the time, said she was suspicious that age discrimination was at hand. Len Goodman, 70, has been a judge on Strictly since its inception.

"I think older people, they don't want to be invisible, they don't want to feel that they're being sidelined and that they can't see themselves anywhere," Logan said.

Logan is currently the co-host of the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year show.

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