Controller gets serious about female comedy
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Monday 13 February 2012
The BBC has admitted its failure to support female comedians by giving them opportunities on television, in a further acknowledgment of the organisation's discrimination against women in broadcasting.
Announcing a raft of rising female talent who will be given on-air slots this year, the BBC's Controller of Entertainment Commissioning Mark Linsey accepted the corporation should have done more to promote comediennes. "We don't have enough female comedians on television – that's something we are aware of and trying to do something about," he told The Independent.
Although Linsey expressed excitement about an upcoming BBC2 show starring South Shields comedian Sarah Millican, and pointed to a batch of other women who the organisation was championing, he said "there's more work to be done". He accepted more progress should have been made in the years since Victoria Wood appeared to have made a breakthrough in gender equality by achieving television success in the 70s.
The comments come after the BBC Director General Mark Thompson's admission the BBC had a "case to answer" in the way it treats older women on the air. "We have too few women in key news and current affairs presenting roles," he said and added respondents told the BBC older women appeared "invisible" on the airwaves.
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