Frilly bonnets off to the BSkyB controller Dawn "Scary" Airey, who has added to the gaiety of the nation from her sumptuous love nest in rural Oxfordshire. Headline writers who usually lie dormant between George Michael's escapades have gleefully dusted off the dictionary of clichés and innuendo, thanks to her news that her girlfriend, sorry, "lesbian lover", Jacquie Lawence, is pregnant. We dearly hope that "steamy sex sessions" were involved.
In media London, prayers of thanks are raised to the Lord Beaverbrook for figures like Airey and the easy slang they offer. She is variously known as "formidable", "ambitious" and "Zulu Dawn" (A woman boss? She must be a psycho). She is suspiciously credited as "the highest paid woman in British television" (but she needn't start expecting a man's salary) and "the latest distinguished member of our 'pink' community" (she does it with girls, don't you?)
In words that have barely changed since "confirmed bachelors" made the obituaries, Wary Airey is listed as "one of Britain's most influential gays" despite being less well known than some of her "more colourful" counterparts. "In her rise to the top, she ... has dropped her boyfriend of 19 years and come out as a leading light of the 'pink' community", apparently. Clearly there is no more cunning way to float to the top than to ditch Mr Safe, pop on your sensible shoes and set out for the Gay Community (just beyond the Asian Community and turn left at the lights). Now, Lairy Airey seems to have caught the bug too. Questioned about rumours that she was tipped for greatness at the BBC, she quipped: "Nah - they'd never appoint another Dyke."
Such is the wink-wink nudge-nudgery that surrounds Contrary Airey that references to her as "a product of Girton College" and "a former captain of tennis" begin to take on sinister overtones. And sometimes, it is hard to distinguish the comedy ribaldry from rampant sexism. Last week, "friends" chipped in. "She is a complete workaholic," tutted one. "She works weekends as well, so it will be interesting to see how she will cope with a baby on the scene." They "worry", you see, these friends. We all do. And of course a mother who leaves the cave and hunts down a £1m salary is considerably more neglectful than a father who does the same thing.
Now, you might think that people would be used to the idea of two women falling in love and wanting to have a baby. Women are having babies all over the place these days, and some of them are not even getting told off for it. Lord Sir Professor His Holiness Robert Winston has announced that he regrets having a go at older mothers. Single people are allowed to adopt babies - in fact, anyone can if they have a combined IQ in double figures and will consider taking one of those old-fashioned British ones. Even Brian in The Archers was grudgingly thinking of forgiving Adam and Ian for considering a surrogate but then the sneaky woman went and took her womb away. Mind you, what can you expect from these feckless girls?
Somehow, though, it's still seen as a little bit grubby for a gay couple to make a baby. It's all that grappling with sperm and turkey baster talk from certain Eighties lady comedians. How "strong" the child will have to be - because, of course, children of heterosexual, married parents never get bullied at school.
You have to salute Airey and her live-in lesbian lover Jacquie for their services to wordplay. We only hope the happy couple name their daughter Mary and get her a canary and a job in the dairy as soon as she can walk.Reuse content