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Dara O'Briain clarifies his comments on all-male TV panels - calls for more women comedians


Dara O'Briain

Dara O'Briain

Dara O'Briain

Irish comedian Dara O’Briain has said he has no problem with the BBC’s recent announcement that quiz shows like ‘Mock The Week’ will ban all-male panels, despite being quoted as hitting out at it.

The BBC’s director of television, Ben Cohen, said earlier this month that the broadcaster needed to do more to include female comedians in its programmes.

The interview with O'Briain, in the current issue of the ‘Radio Times’ quotes the Irish comedian as saying any female guest on such a show would be considered a ‘token woman’ in the line-up. O'Briain believes this comment was then taken out of context.

 “To clarify, yet again. I have no problem with a policy of no all-male panel shows. I just wouldn't have announced it,” he wrote online this morning.

“The same very funny women will be on all these shows and don't deserve anyone to regard that booking as being because of an edict.

“And while I could excitingly spend the entire day clarifying that, I must fly to Ireland instead to do a (non-all-male) panel show.”

The ‘Radio Times’ interview quotes the Bray-born presenter as saying; “A certain number of women want to go into comedy, and they should be cherished and nurtured, but you're not going to shift the fact that loads more men want to do it.”

By Denise Calnan

Online Editors