BBC TV boss: No all-male panel shows

Mock the Week Mock the Week has come in for criticism of its male-dominated team line-ups

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Panel shows such as QI and Mock the Week will no longer have all-male line-ups, the BBC's director of TV has said.

"We're not going to have panel shows on any more with no women on them," Danny Cohen told the Observer. "You can't do that. It's not acceptable."

His comments come two months after the BBC Trust was reported to have told executives there was "no excuse" for not having more female panellists.

Mr Cohen also said the BBC needed to get more older women on screen.

"We're getting better," he told the Observer, citing the example of historian Mary Beard. "But we need to get better."

In the past, comedy panel shows like QI, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You have been criticised for their male-dominated line-ups.

The Observer said all the regular comedians on the most recent series of Mock the Week were men and only five of the 38 guest panellists were women.

'Boys' game'

A BBC spokesman said some panel shows that had been recorded but not yet been broadcast may feature all-male teams, but that all those filmed in the future would include at least one female participant.

"There may be very rare occasions where shows that were already recorded - or whose panels were already booked ahead of the order - still have all-male line-ups, but hopefully the change should really become apparent," the spokesman said.

The move follows criticism from Victoria Wood, who has criticised such "testosterone-fuelled" shows, and Jo Brand, who said she no longer considered appearing on Mock The Week.

In 2012, writer Caitlin Moran said she had been asked to appear on "all the big panel shows" but turned them down because "I refuse to be the token woman".

"I think that's a boys' game that works for boys," she said. "It's not like they built it to screw women over, it's just that boys built it so they made it to work for boys. If I go on there as a token woman, it's not going to work for me," she said.

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