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New BBC chief wants more women presenters

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McBurney/Natasha Sayee - Strictly Sunday Life Use Only



BBC NI news reporter Natasha Sayee speaks to Sunday Life's Gail Henderson on the run up to her first Father's Day without her father in a personnal interview after he past away just after she was married.



Location: Clements Coffee Shop, Royal Ave Belfast

Picture date Thursday 18th June 2009

Pictures by Liam McBurney ©.

Copyright Liam McBurney.



Liam McBurney

liammcburney@gmail.com 

+44 7837 68 57 67

McBurney/Natasha Sayee - Strictly Sunday Life Use Only BBC NI news reporter Natasha Sayee speaks to Sunday Life's Gail Henderson on the run up to her first Father's Day without her father in a personnal interview after he past away just after she was married. Location: Clements Coffee Shop, Royal Ave Belfast Picture date Thursday 18th June 2009 Pictures by Liam McBurney ©. Copyright Liam McBurney. Liam McBurney liammcburney@gmail.com +44 7837 68 57 67

Liam McBurney

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -29th April 2010  -  - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

BBCÕs Sarah Travers and the Department for Employment and LearningÕs Permanent Secretary, Alan Shannon with Alastair McCormick as they celebrate his success on being crowned Essential Skills Learner of the Year for 2010 at a ceremony at Hillsborough Castle. Dale Farm employee Alastair, from Ballymena, won the award after undertaking ICT classes, organised through Unite the Union,  which have enabled him to incorporate ICT skills into his daily working routine.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -29th April 2010 - - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. BBCÕs Sarah Travers and the Department for Employment and LearningÕs Permanent Secretary, Alan Shannon with Alastair McCormick as they celebrate his success on being crowned Essential Skills Learner of the Year for 2010 at a ceremony at Hillsborough Castle. Dale Farm employee Alastair, from Ballymena, won the award after undertaking ICT classes, organised through Unite the Union, which have enabled him to incorporate ICT skills into his daily working routine.

McBurney/Natasha Sayee - Strictly Sunday Life Use Only BBC NI news reporter Natasha Sayee speaks to Sunday Life's Gail Henderson on the run up to her first Father's Day without her father in a personnal interview after he past away just after she was married. Location: Clements Coffee Shop, Royal Ave Belfast Picture date Thursday 18th June 2009 Pictures by Liam McBurney ©. Copyright Liam McBurney. Liam McBurney liammcburney@gmail.com +44 7837 68 57 67

James Harding, the incoming director of news at the BBC, has admitted his discomfort at the lack of women broadcasters on the BBC's bulletins and has promised to address the issue as a priority.

BBC Northern Ireland has been hit particularly hard by a recent exodus of its top female journalists and broadcasters.

Last year, household names and political reporters Yvette Shapiro and Julia Paul left the corporation as part of the BBC's ongoing voluntary redundancy package.

This year has seen a further haemorrhage of female talent as weather forecaster Jackie McCann, newsreader Sarah Travers, journalist Natasha Sayee, senior BBC editor Angelina Fusco and sports presenter Denise Watson all announced their departure within weeks of each other.

In an address to BBC staff, Mr Harding, former editor of The Times, said: "I think that as an outsider there is clearly an issue about the number of female broadcasters – the number of broadcasters on air – that is one thing you do notice, and we're going to have to do something determined about that."

Mr Harding was answering questions from Radio 4 presenter Justin Webb at the organisation's annual BBC News Festival event.

Asked if he could improve the representation of women on BBC news programmes, Harding said: "We're going to have to do it; as a viewer and listener you're aware of it. And you think to yourself, 'Hang on, the BBC can do better than that.' And we can."

Tony Hall, who arrived at the BBC as Director-General at the start of last month, is already under pressure to make changes to rectify a gender imbalance across the organisation.

The lack of female television presenters over the age of 50 has been highlighted in the news media this month. The BBC has also faced criticism over a shortfall of women interviewees in stories broadcast on its news programmes.

Belfast Telegraph