Cruella to be Kind?

Former Grampian TV presenter, Selina Scott, has taken a swipe at fellow presenter, Anne Robinson, as part of an investigation into alleged sexism at the BBC.

Says today's Scottish Daily Mail (page 13) Scott – who is heading up the investigation for the BBC – is reported comparing Robinson to cartoon villain, ‘Cruella de Vil’. Scott is quoted, accusing Robinson of “adopting a character which she plays much as an actress might. She is Cruella De Vil.”

According to Scott, Robinson’s caustic countenance and famed put-downs work against women who are not allowed to “grow old gracefully”.

Despite Scott’s distaste for Robinson’s acerbic style of presentation, she bemoans the BBC’s lack of female presenters over 50. Reporter, Vanessa Allen, pulls the following line from what is claimed to be a leaked document from the investigation: “The older female worker in the BBC feels she is stamped with a ‘best by date’ ”.

The Mail's columnist, Peter McKay, wades in to the debate on page 17. He writes that Robinson was targeted because she “doesn’t believe there is real discrimination against older women”. McKay also muses that Robinson has had to fight “all sorts of discrimination” already: her “red hair” and the fact that she comes “from Liverpool”.