Thursday 26 April 2018

'Beautiful' Samantha Brick says BBC presenter Mary Beard is 'too ugly for television'

Samantha Brick
Samantha Brick
Mary Beard

SAMANTHA Brick, the journalist who was ridiculed for claiming "women hate me for being beautiful" has risked further condemnation after saying BBC presenter Mary Beard "is too ugly for TV".

Brick, 41, provoked a worldwide internet storm with an article entitled “there are downsides to looking this pretty” in which she complained women view her as a threat because of her "lovely looks".

However, the furore appears not have dented her appetite for controversy as she has now waded into the row between Beard and the TV critic A.A. Gill, who said the presenter was too unattractive to appear on television.

Writing in the Daily Mail, where her previous columns have attracted vitriolic responses, Brick said: “When the acid-tongued TV critic A.A. Gill wrote a highly uncomplimentary review recently suggesting TV presenter Mary Beard should be kept away from the cameras because of the way she looks, I can’t say I was entirely surprised.

“And when Ms Beard, presenter of BBC2’s Meet The Romans, wrote a retaliation in this newspaper last week — ‘Too Ugly for TV? No, I’m too brainy for men who fear clever women’ — I have to admit I had mixed feelings about the whole furore.

“While there is no denying that Ms Beard is a supremely intelligent and fiercely ambitious woman, there is absolutely no chance of her becoming a successful broadcaster in prime-time slots on flagship TV channels. The plain truth is that Ms Beard is too ugly for TV.”

Brick, who previously boasted that other women in her company “find nothing more annoying than someone else being the most attractive girl in a room”, added: “Anyone who seeks out an on-screen career is setting themselves up for a fall.

“They are laying themselves open to endless — and, in my opinion, entirely justified — appraisal of their looks.

“Ms Beard will have had on-camera training at great expense to the BBC in preparation for her series, so why was this advice not extended to her wardrobe, make-up and grooming, as it is with most other presenters?

“The greatest tragedy isn’t Ms Beard’s wild hair, ungainly posture or make-up free face: it’s the fact that the BBC didn’t offer her guidance on her appearance in the first place.”

The remarks drew renewed criticism of the former television producer on the newspaper’s website, with many describing Brick as “delusional” and “hypocritical”.

One reader commented: “This woman makes me laugh. A few weeks ago she writes an article complaining that people judge her by her looks and now she writes an article saying she thinks its right to judge people by their looks. Does she realise how ridiculous she sounds? Maybe she thinks its OK to judge people she regards as ugly but not OK to judge people she regards as beautiful, talk about double standards.”

Another added: “Samantha Brick you are right, some women are too ugly for TV, but the ugliness is the type displayed by you.”

Brick’s comments are also likely to anger celebrities who defended Beard, 57, last month after Gill derided the presenter in his television review column for The Sunday Times.

Clare Balding, the BBC sports presenter – once referred to by Gill as a “dyke on a bike” – accused the critic hating and being intimidated by clever women.

Miriam O’Reilly, who won an industrial tribunal in January 2011 against the BBC for age discrimination, defended Beard saying: “What's wrong with a 57-year-old woman looking how she wants?”

Brick said O’Reilly was “laughably wide of the mark” and “has clearly failed to grasp how viewers watch TV and why”.

She added: “I do have some sympathy with Ms Beard. I was recently the subject of worldwide condemnation for daring to express the view that I regard myself as an attractive woman. The hate mail and public ridicule I experienced is something I will never forget.

“Television is a medium where you must be prepared to do anything to get on, and it is a given that you pay meticulous attention to your physical appearance first and foremost.

“I think that’s something Mary Beard should have thought about rather longer and harder than she did. After all, she is a very clever woman.”

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