Belfast Telegraph

A dressing down for Emily

By Jane Graham

Confined to a desk which served to block any inopportune sightings of her body below the breast bone, newsreader Emily Maitlis maintained a reputation as a respected BBC journalist, always appropriate in tone, uncontroversial in attire and suitably grave in manner. If only she had stayed there.

Allowed to roam freely around public places as the presenter of BBC 2’s profile of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the well-proportioned and frankly leggy Newsnight host didn’t just let the Beeb down, she let down feminism, serious journalism and, worst of all, herself.

In a series of offensively attractive gaffes, Maitlis: WALKED down a street with a casual air one might describe as a swagger, perhaps even a sashay; SMILED at Mark Zuckenberg in a friendly manner which provoked sexual thoughts in a large percentage of male TV viewers; WORE different outfits in scenes filmed over the course of several days, sporting identifiably designer tops, slim-line jeans and high heels she doesn’t even need because she’s already quite tall; SPOKE in a voice we’ve just noticed is actually quite gravelly and alluring; HAD nice shiny swishy hair.

The newly liberated, chatty Emily Maitlis got a good number of newspaper columnists and online commentators hot under the collar, and who can blame them?

The Cambridge graduate has clearly traded in her dignity for a job that made a virtual prostitute of her. She can’t complain — don’t Alan Yentob and Robert Peston have their every wardrobe choice and facial expression pored over for potential sexual suggestibility? Well, don’t they?

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