Broadcaster Sandi Toksvig has lamented the lack of female TV personalities on quiz shows, saying that programmes such as Mock the Week are dominated by men, who are more prepared to be aggressive.
Toksvig, a BBC Radio 4 regular who starred in children's shows including ITV's Number 73 during the 1980s, also asked why female broadcasters were not hosting chat shows.
"I do a show on Channel 4 called '1001 Things You Should Know', and the reason I like it is because it's not remotely aggressive," she told the Radio Times. "I would like to see more female quiz-show hosts on TV because they set a different tone. Women aren't as used to pushing themselves forward verbally or physically. So on a quiz show like Mock the Week you don't get very many female panellists because the environment doesn't lend itself to us."
Asked why there weren't more female quiz hosts on TV, Toksvig said: "There's no reason for it because you have the answers right in front of you. All you need to do is read and I have been doing that since I was four years old. It's the same as chat shows – where are the women? It is just a conversation: women are great at those. With the current crop of hosts it tends to become more about them, so you rarely find out anything about the guest."
Broadcasting executives have been accused for years of perpetuating a gender imbalance that marginalises women. Attempting to address this, the BBC recently appointed Mishal Husain as a second female presenter on Radio 4's Today programme. And the former Radio 4 newsreader Charlotte Green was named as BBC Radio 5 Live's new voice of Saturday afternoon football classified results.