BBC's Peter Alliss in fresh storm with 'sexist' remark about Open winner Zach Johnson's wife
Veteran BBC commentator Peter Alliss has provoked another sexism storm with his second on-air gaffe within 24 hours at the Open at St Andrews.
Alliss, 84, had already sent social media alight on Sunday night with his comment about young Irish amateur Paul Dunne being hugged by his mother as he came off the course with a share of the third-round lead.
"Ah, that must be mum," said Alliss. "Perhaps he likes older women. I don't know but I hope I got the right one."
But the storm he had provoked had hardly had time to die down when he was at it again on Monday evening. This time his remarks were directed towards Kim Johnson, the wife of Zach Johnson, moments before the American sized up a putt to win a three-way play-off to land the Open title.
As the camera panned in on Mrs Johnson, Alliss mused about how the couple would spend the prize money: "She is probably thinking - 'if this goes in I get a new kitchen'," commented Alliss.
@ThickBlueLine I imagine any rational person would think “If this goes in the press’ll be a pain in the ass”— Kris Lipscombe (@halbpro) July 20, 2015
Oh, how we'll miss the casual sexism of Peter Alliss, delivered in that mellifluous voice #TheOpen2015— jamesnurton (@JNurt) July 20, 2015
Old school sexism from Peter Alliss.— David Stevenson (@hoagy_ytfc) July 20, 2015
Lesley-Ann Wade, the manager of British golfer-turned-commentator Nick Faldo, said on Twitter:
Alliss, who is known as the BBC's voice of golf, has for decades divided opinion, with some treasuring his pithy observations and deep knowledge of the game but others enraged by what they see as outdated and reactionary views.
He caused outrage in April when he said in a Radio Times interview that thousands of women have given up playing golf as a result of Harriet Harman’s Equality Act, which ended men-only tee times and restrictions on the club facilities which female players could use.
Alliss said the legislation granting women equality on the golf course had “buggered up” the game because female players cannot afford the fees.
The BBC was also under fire on Monday for delaying its coverage of the final round of the Open until 1.45pm, six hours after play had started.
The corporation was forced to issue a statement explaining its decision to stick to the morning and lunchtime schedule – which included Homes Under The Hammer, Heir Hunters and Bargain Hunt – and not cross to the Old Course.
Insiders claimed that the BBC had no option as approximately 50 per cent of the freelance camera operators had been booked for other jobs.