Good grief, I must be getting old - I've just written an "angry of..." letter to complain about a TV programme (first time ever)! But honesty the BBC's Question of Sport programme is SO anti-women that something needed to be said. And this episode plumbed depths even lower than the usual nadir. I don't do "angry" very well, so those of you who know me well will be amused by this grrrr letter!
Needless to say, I didn't get a reply and the programme is as awful as ever. I remain a resolute fan of the wonderful BBC though. It is truly a global asset / treasure. Apart from this show.
Question of Sport plumbed new depths of misogynism tonight. I think we've got used to the almost complete absence of female sports stars - compere Sue Barker is the token weekly woman - but this week no questions featured any female sports stars at all until the last few minutes when finally we had a fleeting reference to "who was Andre Agassi's wife?", and then a photo of Martina Hingis (which stumped the assembled men - probably because of Matt Dawson's description "er,.. she used to be young...".
Possibly the quick witted viewer might have caught a glipse of a female equestrian star in the last few seconds - only the knees and below of course - helped by the team's spirited description of equestrianism's dressage: "they trot around and look very pretty".
So with 2012 on the way this programme leaves millions of viewers with the dinosaur view that women in sport have no sports, and have almost no role at all, except perhaps as a host, a wife, or to be pretty.
For UK sport this programme is a weekly disaster in a nation with the legacy of Lillian Board, Mary Peters, Shiley Robertson et al. Please, please, please axe it now. How on earth can it be allowed on the air in the 21st century?
© Prof Stephen Heppell 2006