Simpson, who has been Beeb world affairs correspondent since 1988, claimed: “The BBC is even more grotesquely managed now than it was then — tough women running the place now.
"It was nicer and gentler then. The BBC is such a nanny — and ghastly outfit.”
Simpson made the comments, reported by The Sun on Sunday, on stage at Ireland’s Happy Days Festival, speaking to fellow BBC correspondent Denis Murphy.
Simpson: "tough women" run the Beeb
A BBC spokesperson told The Huffington Post UK: “It’s the structure of the BBC that allows its journalism to flourish.”
Simpson's comments will not be welcomed by those campaigning for more women in leadership roles, as only four out of twelve people on the state-owned broadcaster's board are female.
Meet the four women on the BBC board
Helen Boaden - director for radio
The previous director of the BBC's news output, Boaden moved to radio following the Jimmy Saville scandal.
Boaden is an executive director, and is responsible for BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, and the BBC digital radio stations 1Xtra, 6Music, BBC 4 Extra, and Asian Network. She also oversees the three BBC orchestras.
Salary: £340,000 (as of June 2014)
Anne Bulford - managing director, finance and operations
Another executive board member, with overall responsibility for the corporation's finance and business division. Her division is made up of finance, operations, commercial development and legal and business assurance.
She was previously chief operating officer of Channel 4 and spent a spell there are interim chief executive. Bulford has also worked at the Royal Opera House and Carlton Productions.
Salary:£395,000 (as of June 2014)
Dame Fiona Reynolds
Dame Fiona Reynolds - non-executive director
Reynolds was director-general of the National Trust from 2001 to 2012 and was awarded a CBE for services to the environment and conservation, and made a dame in 2008.
She is credited with overhauling the management of the National Trust and taking its membership to four million people. She has also been a director of the women’s unit in the Cabinet Office.
Alice Perkins - non-executive director
The second female non-executive director is also the chairman of The Post Office. She has held a range of senior roles in government departments including group HR director for the UK civil service at the Cabinet Office, between 2001 and 2005.
Perkins is also currently a coaching partner at executive headhunting firm JCA Group.