Claudia Winkleman defends male dominance on TV panel shows

Men are more competitive and 'that's possibly what works'

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The Independent Online

Shows such as Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week have come under fierce criticism for their male-dominated panels, but presenter Claudia Winkleman has claimed producers need not redress the gender imbalance.

Winkleman, who has regular presenting roles on both Film 2013 and Strictly Come Dancing, has appeared on 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

She told the Sunday Telegraph: "I don't think panel shows should be less male-dominated. I don't know if a panel show run by women would work - we'd end up cuddling; we're not very competitive.

"I think women have got a brilliant role on television, there's lots of us, we do really well. Panel shows can feel very boys-ey, but that's possibly what works. I'm all right with it the way it is. We do lots of other stuff."

Earlier this year, Jenny Eclair highlighted the struggle female comedians have in getting on a panel show by tweeting that she'd never been invited to appear on the BBC's Have I Got News For You.

Victoria Wood said that such shows "rely on men topping each other, or sparring with each other, which is not generally a very female thing".

Jo Brand has criticised BBC Two's Mock The Week, saying both male and female stand-ups who had tried it once had resolved never to go on it again - herself included.

"We just didn't like the prospect of having to bite someone's foot off before they let us say something," she said.

Part of the general problem, Brand claimed, is that "there are far more male comics than women".