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Lord Patten, BBC Trust Chairman, Says BBC Needs More Women (POLL)

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BBC CHAIRMAN LORD PATTEN
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BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has called for more women's faces and voices on radio and television.

The former Conservative Party chairman said there were "some good ones", singling out Fiona Bruce and radio presenters Sarah Montague and Martha Kearney, but he added that there "should be more".

In an interview with The Observer, he said: "First of all, I'm 67, for heaven's sake, and I'm married to a charming and beautiful 66-year-old, and I would be delighted if she was the face of anything on television.

"Second, we should have more women on radio and television."

Quick Poll

Do you think the BBC needs more women?

Yes, the gender equality just is not there

No, there are enough

Lord (Chris) Patten said of Ms Bruce: "I saw her programme on royal palaces, which she wrote as well as presented, and I thought she was terrific. But there should be more."

Earlier this year, actress Caroline Quentin, whose BBC shows include Life of Riley and Jonathan Creek, criticised the gender balance of lead TV roles for older stars.

She said there were "many, many more men" on screen than women, and added: "I am getting offers but not as many and not as much in drama.

"I don't think it's a conspiracy thing. I just don't understand it, because I've always brought an audience with me, so it's not like I don't think anybody's going to watch it."

Her words echoed the debate on sexism and ageism on television, prompted by ex-Countryfile presenter Miriam O'Reilly's tribunal win against the BBC earlier this year.

Former newsreader Anna Ford has voiced criticism about how older male presenters are still on screen but older women are not, while presenter Fern Britton has claimed that women have a "natural end" to their screen careers.

Around the Web

Lord Patten - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lord Patten | Media | guardian.co.uk

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BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten calls for more female faces on TV