Belfast Telegraph

Anne Robinson: News and light entertainment 'all about pretty girls'

If the BBC's top male current affairs presenters had "identical twin sisters" they would not be reading the news or fronting Newsnight, according to Anne Robinson.

The 70-year-old TV host, known for her quiz master duties on The Weakest Link and presenting Watchdog, was asked for her views on TV ageism.

She told Radio Times magazine: "If Huw Edwards or Evan Davis had identical twin sisters they wouldn't be reading the news or presenting Newsnight.

"I'm not saying they're both ugly. It's just a fact, particularly in light entertainment, that it's all about pretty girls in the front row.

"But I've just never worked within those confines. I never got hired because I had beautiful breasts. I got hired because I could write and I could be funny."

Edwards, who is 54 next week, presents the News At Ten, while Davis, 53, presents Newsnight.

In a Q&A, Robinson told the magazine the most expensive thing she has bought for herself in the past year is a Prunella Clough painting, costing "about 40 grand".

Asked why she is not on reality shows, she said: "People do it to keep themselves on the screen, but I've never bothered with any of that.

"I think the last offer from I'm A Celebrity was about half a million. But I just wouldn't do it."

She said the "trick for women's longevity on television" is that "you've got to be clever, versatile, funny and thin".

In 2011, former Countryfile presenter Miriam O'Reilly, now 58, won a landmark legal case against the BBC over age discrimination.

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