Thursday 19 July 2018

Sandi Toksvig encourages people to speak out against sexual harassment

The TV star said that “secrets are a cancer of the soul”.

Sandi Toksvig interview
Sandi Toksvig interview

By Francesca Gosling

Presenter Sandi Toksvig has encouraged victims of sexual harassment to speak out, saying: “Secrets are a cancer of the soul”.

The Great British Bake Off and QI star mentioned the ongoing scandal of misconduct in the television and film industry as she lauded the rise of women both on and off screen.

Speaking as she hosted the Sky Women In Film And TV Awards on Friday, she told the Press Association: “Secrets are a cancer of the soul, they are not good for us. Get it out there.”

ipanews_14a915eb-f2b9-4832-9c93-ef375033cbfc_embedded233957119
Women in Film and TV Awards

Describing the string of recent allegations as a “huge” talking point within the issue of gender balance in the industry, she continued: “We still have a long way to go.

“On average there is a 9.3% pay difference (between men and women), the sexual harassment thing has been huge – it’s no surprise but it’s 2017 so let’s all grow up, shall we?

“But we are seeing a wonderful range of characters, with sitcoms such as Catastrophe showing us a different side to women. I’m going to be 60 next year and I’m still working, so (people are recognising that) there are older women still able to stand up and produce a cogent sentence, and then Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman are doing a fantastic job on Strictly Come Dancing.

“(These awards) celebrate the people behind the cameras as well as the talent on screen – the unsung heroines.”

Her message to sufferers of sexual harassment was backed by Sex And The City star Kim Cattrall, who said: “In any workplace you must be safe.”

ipanews_14a915eb-f2b9-4832-9c93-ef375033cbfc_embedded233956871
Women in Film and TV Awards

She also described people who have shared their stories as “champions” rather than “victims”.

The awards took place at a glamorous event at London’s Hilton Hotel, attended by the likes of Celia Imrie – who won an award for lifetime achievement in the industry – Suranne Jones, Edith Bowman and Henry Cavill.

After a particularly busy year taking over from Stephen Fry at the helm of the hit comedy panel show QI and seeing Bake Off through its Channel 4 debut, Toksvig said she was already looking forward to doing it all again in 2018.

Commenting on her strong emotional reactions as the competition heated up on the baking show, she joked: “Apparently there was a drinking game going around on the internet where you get two shots when I cry.

“But you feel such empathy and we loved the bakers genuinely – I was expecting a lovely, jolly presenting job but I actually became a bit of a therapist in the tent.

“We have already had around 14,000 applications for the next series and we will welcome the new batch of bakers with open arms.”

Press Association

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment