I was listening to TMS when the storm broke over the Stokes dismissal. The story will dominate the back pages as the cricketing press love controversy and confrontation as much as their football writers. I was struck by how acute the analysis of Australian cricinfo journalist Melinda Farrell was. She immediately knew the law, rule 37 on obstruction, an observed it had to be willful and criticised the third umpire for watching in slow motion rather than real time. Even an old pro like Aggers could only say “I agree, I agree.” She also made the point as criticism descended on Steve Smith “You can’t criticise a team for using the law, that’ s there”. I have no idea as it was radio what Melinda Farrell look like. As I checked her quotes on the BBC website there was a small picture of a blonde with gleaming smile and teeth. She is a welcome addition to what is a man’s club.
Sadly not every female presenter seems to be chosen for her presentational abilities and knowledge of her subject. The new football league show is presented by a blonde woman whose knowledge of football seems scanty. The show has no desk but the presenters standing amongst fans is quite dreadful in the style of the Wimbledon programme that was rapidly pulled. Shame as the BBC Football League Review with analyst Leroy Rosenior provided welcome insight into lower leagues . Even worse is the BT serie a round up. Here the presenter Laura Barales wore tight shorts revealing her legs to their best advantage but she struggled with the autocue and had nothing to add of any value. Oh for James Richardson ad the golden days of Gazzetta in the 90s when he would eat a spectacular ice cream in some cafe and entertained and informed us all.
It’s all rather ironical. Presenters, blonde and busty, dressed to reveal a part of cleavage are there to appeal to the male audience but must feel secure that if there is criticism of them that it can be castigated as sexist. The problem arises where you have more of a PC agenda not true quality standard of broadcasting.