Entertainment

Saturday 23 June 2018

Anne Robinson: ‘I didn’t run crying to the loo if a man tried to pat my bum’

She said she was ‘really shocked that women further up the pole weren’t doing more to curtail’ sexual harassment.

Anne Robinson said women must accept that workplaces are ‘sexually treacherous’ environments (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Anne Robinson said women must accept that workplaces are ‘sexually treacherous’ environments (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

TV presenter Anne Robinson has said women must accept that workplaces are “sexually treacherous” environments.

Speaking about sexual harassment, the 73-year-old said that “I certainly didn’t run crying to the loo” if a man “tried to pat my bum”.

The ex-host of The Weakest Link said women were “still having to put up with inappropriate behaviour from men while not doing anything about it.”

She told Radio Times magazine: “I’m still not sure that younger women have worked out what they want.

“I thought my generation had broken the glass ceiling on the journey to equality.

“But having passed on the warrior baton that enabled women to become prime ministers and heads of city institutions, it transpires they we’re still having to put up with inappropriate behaviour from men while not doing anything about it.”

Robinson has made a new BBC documentary which explores provocative issues around equality, including recent sexual harassment controversies.

The presenter said: “It angers me why this behaviour has been allowed to go on for so long.

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Radio Times magazine (Radio Times)

“I was also really shocked that women further up the pole
weren’t doing more to curtail it.

“But workplaces are politically and sexually treacherous and I’m afraid women do have to accept that.

“You have a choice. Do I get off the train and spend my life complaining and making a fuss, or do I stay on the train and make sure it never happens to me again?

“I always chose the latter, but maybe I’m just a different sort of warrior.”

Robinson said she did not “clout” a man if he “tried to pat my bum, because I never attached that much importance to it”.

She told the magazine: “I just used to sigh and curtly say, ‘Look, I’m very busy, please don’t waste my time.’… I just thought the quicker I got to the top, the sooner I wouldn’t have to put up with this nonsense.”

Robinson said: “It’s important for women to show their strength and make it clear they’re not going to put up with this rubbish.”

As a young newspaper reporter, Robinson encountered sexual harassment at political conferences, with “trade union leaders chasing me up the stairs of Brighton’s Grand Hotel.

“It sounds ghastly but I just thought it terribly funny.

“The same powerful guys who could call the country to a halt were the ones pathetically trying to get into my hotel bedroom,” she said.

“Tory and Labour conferences were exactly the same. MPs would drink too much at parties and lose all their inhibitions.

“Fortunately, I was far too quick for any of them.”

Robinson previously sparked fury after wading into the sexual harassment row by discussing the “fragility of women who aren’t able to cope with the treachery of the workplace”, telling the Radio 4 programme Today that “in the early days, 40 years ago, there were very few of us women in power and, I have to say, we had a much more robust attitude to men behaving badly.”

The full interview is in the new edition of Radio Times magazine.

Press Association

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