‘They have decided everybody wants to watch men’: Saturday night TV is dominated by male presenters with not a single woman fronting a show on BBC1 or ITV so far this year, figures reveal
Cilla Black may have been the ‘Queen of Saturday night TV’ but it seems other female presenters are yet to reap similar rewards.
For the evening’s viewing is dominated by men – with not a single female presenter seen on screen on BBC1 or ITV so far this year.
The Daily Mail studied BBC1 and ITV’s output from 5pm to midnight on Saturdays from 2019 to now, excluding weeks dominated by special coverage such as the Queen’s death or the Euros.
In 2019, female presenters accounted for just 31.5 per cent of the appearances made by their male counterparts, dropping to 25.9 per cent last year.
Figures for ITV are considerably lower, dropping from 15.5 per cent to 12.9 per cent in the same period.
Cilla Black, who presented ‘Blind Date’, may have been the ‘Queen of Saturday night TV’ but it seems other female presenters are yet to reap similar rewards
For the evening’s viewing is dominated by men – with not a single female presenter seen on screen on BBC1 or ITV so far this year. Pictured: Ant and Dec
Figures in 2020 and 2021 were slightly higher than last year on the BBC, owing to shows such as Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer with Maya Jama and Take Off With Bradley [Walsh] And Holly [Willoughby].
The broadcaster had three and a half times more men than women presenting in 2019, which increased to four times more last year.
ITV saw figures jump from three and a half to four and a half in the same period.
Stephen Mulhern, 45, is a big hitter for ITV, clocking up 41 out of 51 Saturdays onscreen in 2021 for three different shows: Catchphrase, Rolling In It and In For A Penny.
His tally dropped to 23 out of 52 last year – just one week more than Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly who have dominated the small screen with popular programmes such as Ant And Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
The BBC has launched multiple glossy shows each year fronted solely by male stars from the worlds of soap and comedy. However it has failed to produce the same with women.
Since 2014, Strictly Come Dancing has been the only Saturday night BBC1 series with an all-female hosting team in Tess Daly, 53, and Claudia Winkleman, 51.
But last year the only new Saturday night shows commissioned were with male presenters – Bridge Of Lies with Ross Kemp, That’s My Jam with Mo Gilligan and Jason Manford’s one-off Big Night Of Musicals By The National Lottery.
Since 2014, Strictly Come Dancing has been the only Saturday night BBC1 series with an all-female hosting team in Tess Daly (right), 53, and Claudia Winkleman (left), 51
Stephen Mulhern, 45, is a big hitter for ITV, clocking up 41 out of 51 Saturdays onscreen in 2021 for three different shows: Catchphrase, Rolling In It and In For A Penny
Pointing to presenters such as Miss Black – who hosted shows such as Surprise, Surprise and Blind Date – radio DJ Edith Bowman recently criticised the lack of women, tweeting: ‘Women can host game shows too!’
Talent agency boss Sue Ayton, who represents a host of female TV personalities, called on female executives at both channels to be ‘brave’ and stop ‘playing it safe’ when it comes to picking presenters.
She added: ‘I think there’s still a very male dominated culture in what it is [executives] think people at home want to watch… They have decided everybody wants to watch men.’
An ITV spokesman said the channel has a ‘broad roster of female on-screen talent’, highlighting popular shows such as Love Island and Dancing On Ice which are presented by women. A spokesman for the BBC said the figures were not ‘representative of the [corporation’s] wider output’.
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