Why is there a preponderance of all-male panels on TV shows? That was the question posed to an all-female panel by “Newsnight” presenter Evan Davis on Tuesday, The Guardian’s Zoe Williams, Isabel Hardman of The Spectator and Dame Esther Rantzen conscripted to find the answer.
Rantzen said “aggressive interviewers” didn’t “make it comfortable for women,” offering an anecdote about the time she was called a “clapped-out television presenter" by Jeremy Paxman. “What I should have said to him,” reflected the Dame in a note of l'esprit d'escalier, “is that isn’t the kind of conversation civilised people have.”
Hardman reflected on the “depressing experience” of being invited on panels simply to make up a quota, while Williams similarly berated organisers for their “one woman is enough” attitude.
It was left to Rantzen and Davis to synthesise perhaps the most telling reason: producers are simply lazy, “going to the same people they always do.”
With that in mind, here are the familiars appearing on this week’s “Question Time”: Conservative education secretary Nicky Morgan, Labour's shadow business minister Stella Creasy, Liberal Democrat Tim Farron, Guardian columnist Owen Jones and businesswoman Hilary Devey.
Below are the best "Newsnight" clips of 2014: