Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Boy's Games, Boy's Rules

I am much taken by the furore over the BBC's demand that women must always be represented on the panels of their lookalike news comedy shows. The use of "token women" ensuring rather neatly that any woman who does go on the shows in the future will be looked down upon.

To be honest, since Frankie Boyle has gone, I've been left wondering whether Milton Jones and Hugh Dennis are the token comedians on Mock the Week. You may not think he's very nice, but he can occasionally be screamingly funny. But maybe the way that he dominated the show in the past, with his affable air of Glaswegian menace, illustrates what Caitlin Moran said:
"I think that's a boys' game that works for boys," she said.
A reminder of Bathsheba Everdene's reflections, discussing whether she will marry again after Troy's disappearance - when she is effectively being bullied into taking a decision by Mr Boldwood.
 It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.
And that's the problem with Mock the Week's setup, before the idea of quotas is introduced. A quiz / comedy show where it's the people that butt in that get the laughs - where you have to demand the space on the stage - where the more polite, or less aggressive, get butted out from the performing space. I can see that. It is a boy's game. It's a game set up so only boys - or those women prepared to act like them, for better or worse - can really thrive.

So I reckon it's not just time to change the panel make-up. It must be time to change the rules.

But one last thing that worries me - is Dara O'Briain going to abstain in the vote on women bishops?


  1. I used to like Mock the week, but the format is now old and jaded and could do with a refresh - i.e. take if off completely.

  2. I so agree. I really can't watch Mock The Week for the reasons you give.


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