A piece in yesterday’s Telegraph:
Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour needs a presenter in her 50s and not another young face, Jane Garvey has said, after the BBC chose 35-year-old Emma Barnett as one of the new hosts.
Garvey, 56, leaves the show this month after 13 years, following Dame Jenni Murray out of the door.
Barnett has been unveiled as Dame Jenni’s replacement, and Garvey said she hoped the BBC would choose an older presenter for the remaining slot.
“Emma is in her 30s and that’s great. It will give the programme a real energy, which I think is brilliant, and Emma is brilliant. So I think the person working alongside her should be somebody nearer my age to make sure we give the audience as broad a range of life experience and interests as possible.
“I would prefer it if the other presenter were in her 50s.”
Garvey told Radio 4’s Feedback programme that she hoped Woman’s Hour would devote more time to features about social care and caring for older relatives, as the burden of responsibility often falls on women.
She said: “If I’m thinking about a listener to Woman’s Hour, I picture a woman in her early 60s, possibly still working, possibly still caring for her parents whilst also caring for a grandchild a couple of days a week.
“I think there are thousands of those women and without them Britain would just buckle. It wouldn’t be able to survive. They’re the women I feel I want to talk to and have been talking to.”
Asked by a listener if Woman’s Hour should feature more transgender and gender-fluid guests, Garvey said: “I have been called anti-trans and anti-women, I’ve been called too feminist, I’ve been called not feminist enough. It is genuinely a very, very difficult area.
“I’d also say from a purely practical perspective: is this the issue that vexes our audience more than any other? Do they think of it as the most controversial or the most important thing we could be talking about? No, I honestly don’t think they do.”
Garvey will present a new weekly Radio 4 interview show in the Spring. Her guests will be people who have “been through something extraordinary” and “the sort of voice that you might not necessarily hear on Radio 4”. [J4MB: Voices other than those of MRAs and other anti-feminists, she means.]
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