Shereen's Sunday Guests
This week's programme was a fiery affair for a Sunday morning. Perhaps it was too much coffee beforehand but my guests were a pretty argumentative bunch today. It started before we even went on air when Sun columnist Bill Leckie began winding up journalist Jane Graham about Page 3 girls.
This was one of our hot topics for discussion on the show as it's the fortieth anniversary of Page 3. Bill's always one for making bizarre connections but this time he surpassed himself by comparing Page 3 to The Archers and the Shipping Forecast! As he sees it, they're all national institutions so even if you never listen or watch them you'd be outraged if they were axed. Mmmmh. Jane didn't buy it. She thinks Page 3 is misogynous and sends a dangerous message to young girls. She said she was mortified trying to explain it to her seven year old daughter. She's incandescent that Germaine Greer, of all people, wrote an article in this week's Sun defending Page 3 as "harmless fun". The argument continued on air.
We played a vox pop of a guy saying he didn't mind Page 3 "so long as the girls are fit. If they're not it's disappointing". By this time there was steam coming out of Jane's ears. To my surprise, my third guest, political journalist David Torrance, a very measured, even handed kind of guy who describes himself as a feminist, weighed in on Bill's side.
Eventually I had to call time and we moved on to a less contentious subject: Gillian McKeith's meltdown when confronted by creepy crawlies on I'm a Celebrity: did anyone have any sympathy for her, I asked. Cue Bill, calling a spade a spade. "She smells pooh for a living, what does she expect?"
Other targets for my panel this week: the Pope for his change of heart on condoms, the BBC for its reverential coverage of the Royal engagement, and all the political parties for their response to the Scottish budget cuts. Maybe they were just in a bad mood.
By the way, I dare our picture editor to use a photo of a page 3 girl to go with this blog!