Tuesday 5 January 2021

Two things that don't normally go together: 'Woman's Hour' and chuckles


I've never managed to form a fully-rounded opinion yet of Emma Barnett, the new presenter of Woman's Hour, but I chuckled at a few things in a laudatory report in The Times today about her debut yesterday

The first chuckle came on reading that that HM the Queen sent a congratulatory message to the programme on its 75th anniversary. Emma's first act yesterday was to read it out. 

The Queen professes herself a fan, and I bet the HRH the Duke of Edinburgh is a huge fan too. I can just imagine him being (like his eldest son) all ears for the very latest about gender bias in school books, sustainable fashion, student sex work policy, Extinction Rebellion, post-partum psychosis, female footballers and dementia, and the orgasm cult. 

The second chuckle came on reading that Emma's first interview - and Woman's Hour's opening interview - was with Sonia Khan, a woman "peremptorily sacked" by BBC bogeyman Dominic Cummings. 

How very BBC! - especially from someone who spent last year as a regular presenter on Newsnight, the BBC programme that went after Dom so hard and so personally. 

They're truly obsessed with him, aren't they?

The third chuckle came from reading that, apparently, this interview didn't work out well though for the BBC as Ms Khan said she was "not going into the detail" about it and that it was "not as dramatic as it sounds". No scoop then for Woman's Hour. (Ha ha! Classic Dom!)

The fourth chuckle concerned something that took me back before even reading it, having had a look at the BBC Radio 4 schedule prior to the programme being broadcast: There were two men listed as guests: Jeremy Hunt and Nazanin's husband Richard Ratcliffe. 

Men, on Woman's Hour?!? I thought Woman's Hour was a mans-exclusionary radical feminist (MERF) programme. 

Apparently though, "Before the show aired [Emma] Barnett had promised that she would have more men on it". 

At least the departed Dame Jenni and Jane, after copious consumption of smelling salts at that absolute outrage, can just about breathe a sigh of relief that the men in question weren't transwomen.

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