Watching Children In Need with my kids on Friday night, they made lots of comments about "dear old Terry Wogan" and how he has been part of that programme for "hundreds of years" and how that has made him a lovely, nostalgic part of their childhood. Comments, also, about how he's clearly getting on a bit but he's still so funny and good at it and they hope he carries on doing it for "another hundred years."
And then, we couldn't help wondering, what has happened to all his lovely female "assistants" over the years? In fact, my kids, who have watched this programme annually all their lives, were somewhat hard pushed to remember their names.......Gabby Roslin? So, in answer to the childrens' question, "why doesn't Terry always have the same 'assistant'? Why don't all the ladies who have helped him over the years come back?" I had to say, "Well,err.......could it be that they have all grown-up and got wrinkles?" I mean God forbid that we should have a woman with wrinkles paraded in front of us, I don't think the nation could cope, and it certainly wouldn't persuade them to part with any cash it would seem.
So we have Terry and Brucie and Louis and probably lots more.......all very good at their jobs........but where are the older women?
OP, I couldn't agree more! Last night watching Strictly, cringing as Bruce cracks his stupid jokes (if you have to ask people to laugh Bruce, it's not funny!) or as he wraps his arms round the waist of the much younger gorgeous Tess, I mused over the fact that out of the judges, the 3 ageing men have stayed but its the one woman that gets interchanged. I guess the idea of having 2 female judges is far too radical!!
And yes I'm sure there are a number of reasons the apologists could give (yes Alisha wasn't booted like Arlene was) but the effect is always the same: more old ugly men, more young beautiful women. It happens everywhere.
And of course by keeping the women so young, they will never build up the experience, knowledge and authority as the men so will feed into the notion that men have more expertise.
Nothing to do with presenters, but I have been watching Downton Abbey (it's only recently arrived here in Greece) and I can't help noticing that the character of the Dowager Countess (played by Maggie Smith) is so essential. So nice to see such an important part for an older woman. And such a contrast with the dumb-but-pretty-girl-as-decoration-assistant that you get on most Greek television. People even call them "potted-plant-women" in Greek, it's terrible.
I love Strictly but it has really annoyed me that they let 'poor old Bruce' have the week off because he was a bit tired. I have no doubt that were there be a miracle on earth and it was a female old presenter of Strictly she would have been fired on the spot for demanding a week off.
A step in the right direction that I have noticed recently is that Sky Sports is increasingly using women reporters at football matches. Young women, admittedly, but hopefully they will be retained as they get older.
She's not old but one of the reasons I love Ruth Goodman is that she is entirely ordinary looking and is there to impart her knowledge/enthusiasm. It'll be interesting to see if Kirsty Wark or Emily Maitlis or Samira Ahmed are allowed to continue to Dimbleby level antiquity...