Monday 21 January 2019

Elaine Paige: If a man puts his hand on your bum, deal with it

The West End star said there needed to be some perspective on the Me Too movement.

Elaine Paige said some perspective was needed (Matt Crossick/PA)
Elaine Paige said some perspective was needed (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Elaine Paige has said there needs to be some perspective on the Me Too movement.

The theatre star said she had been the subject of unwelcome advances but added she did not want to get to the stage where men cannot flirt with women.

Asked if she has ever been hit on by predatory men, she told The Mail on Sunday’s Event magazine: ” Of course I have! My God!

“I would be really embarrassed to sit here and say that it never happened to me.”

She added: “Listen, we’ve got to get all of this in perspective. Rape or any sort of assault is completely unacceptable.

“But come on, girls, if a man puts his hand on your knee or your bum, then deal with it.

“Are we really wanting to get to a stage when a man never flirts again? What a dreary life! In fact, I’m thinking of getting a badge made saying ‘Cooee! I’m over here’. It’s not too late.”

Discussing her regrets about not having a family, she said: “I am sorry I didn’t meet a nice man and have a family.

“I once had a dog and I devoted myself to it almost to the exclusion of my social life. If I’d had children, I’d probably have been a terrible, smothering mother.

“In my child-bearing years, I was still too much of a child myself. I wouldn’t have known what to do with them.

“But not being a mother is a sadness to me. There are children in my life, though. What more could a girl want?”

Paige also addressed the controversy over pay parity, referring to a recording of the BBC’s John Humphrys making light of the pay gap row at the corporation.

Paige said: “I’m very hot on that. If you’re doing the same job as a man, you should be paid the same.

“That Mr Humphrys on the Today programme made disparaging off-air remarks about his female colleagues’ pay and I found that absolutely appalling.”

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