Sunday 21 January 2018

BBC commentator Peter Alliss: 'If women want to be equal, get a woman to fight for boxing's heavyweight championship'

BBC Golf commentator Peter Alliss. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images
BBC Golf commentator Peter Alliss. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

James Corrigan

Peter Alliss has revealed this could be his last Masters in the commentary booth and after his latest comments, the BBC might well be relieved if this proves to be the case.

The 86-year-old has worked for the corporation for 56 years, establishing himself as the voice of British golf in he process. However, he has come under increasing criticism over recent years for remarks, which many believe to be sexist. His detractors will surely roll his eyes at his latest declarations.

“I’ll try not to be too much of a dinosaur [when covering this year’s Masters], but remember: dinosaurs are making a comeback,” Alliss told Newsweek.

“No matter how you wrap it up, women will never be able to do things that men can do. If we want to be equal, are you going to get a woman fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world [in] boxing? Are you? Could you?

Alliss continued: “I think women are more delicate than men. I like holding chairs for women. I enjoy the company of women. I don’t want to be bullied by them. I don’t care for macho women, I don’t care for them very much. And yet they’re prevalent today, and very prevalent in some cases. And very forward.”

Alliss will inevitably come under flak but his past experiences will show that he will remain unrepentant. After the 2015 Open, the BBC felt obliged to apologise for Alliss’s aside about Zach Johnson’s wife, Kim Barclay, as he stood over the putt to win the Claret Jug.

"She is probably thinking - 'if this goes in I get a new kitchen' Alliss said. Earlier that year he had caused consternation when telling the Radio Times  that the Equality Act had “buggered up” the game.

Nevertheless, Alliss has a big support base and many viewers will be upset when he hangs up his microphone, but he admitted this could be his last time at Augusta.

“I don’t know, it could be this year,” Alliss said “When I get to the point where I see something and I can’t respond, I’m interviewed and I have no words to say, this (tapping his head) is getting fuddled… I’ll go before I’m pushed.”

The BBC is down to two live days of golf coverage per year after having as many as 30 a little more than 10 years ago. The presenter Hazel Irvine has already said this will be her final Masters, with Eilidh Barbour due to replace her fellow Scotswoman.

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