BBC Clampdown on All Male Panel Shows

BBC's Director of Television Danny Cohen has said there will be no more all male comedy shows on the British public broadcasting network.

Cohen, in an interview with The Observer, said he was determined to see more women appearing on what is seen as habitually macho UK TV panel shows, among them Mock the Week and QI. "We are not going to have any more panel shows with no women on them. It's not acceptable," he added.

The BBC has been criticized for what is seen as systematic failure to have women in top positions. In mid-July, the BBC Trust told BBC director general Tony Hall to get more women on air "as a matter of urgency" in 2013-14.

TV producers have argued that women often turn down the more competitive shows but UK top women comedians Victoria Wood and Jo Brand have both cited problems inherent in what Wood called the "testosterone-fuelled nature" of the BBC's panel shows.  Said Wood,  "A lot of programmes are very male-dominated, because they rely on men topping each other, which is not a very female thing."  Brand added in that atmosphere, there are issues with women being able to get in a word edgewise, as well as what they do say being edited to look stupid.

Cohen said he also intended to make sure there are more older women featured in the corporation's TV programmes.