Jason Manford decries BBC comedy panel show sexism

The comedian says that women feel self-conscious on the programmes

Jason Manford has praised the decision to put at least one woman on each comedy panel line-up, but questioned why they publicly announced the decision to do so, saying it "undermines" women.

"I just don't think they should have said it out loud," Manford told the Radio Times. "Why say it? Just do it."

Manford argued that publicly enforcing a quota of women on the programmes made female contestants question their talent. "By saying it, you're undermining the female on the panel show because now she's thinking: 'Am I here because I'm funny or because they needed one?'"


The comedian is a regular on panel shows such as Would I Lie To You? and 8 Out of 10 Cats.

In 2014, the BBC Trust was reported to have said there was "no excuse" for not having more women on the programmes, after they were widely panned for being too "blokey". Danny Cohen, director of BBC TV, then announced they were no longer going to have panel shows without women.

Manford also said that having more women on comedy nights "makes [the events] better".

"When I see a female act who's totally nailing it, I think: 'Well, she's worked harder than most blokes to get to this point,'" he said.