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Ó Briain has "no problem" with all-male panel ban

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Ó Briain - "I have no problem with a policy of no all-male panel shows. I just wouldn't have announced it"

Dara Ó Briain has said he has been misquoted by the media in their reporting of his response to the BBC decision to end all-male line-ups on comedy panel shows.  

Writing on Twitter, the Mock the Week presenter said: "To clarify, yet again. I have no problem with a policy of no all-male panel shows. I just wouldn't have announced it."

He added: "The same very funny women will be on all these shows and don't deserve anyone to regard that booking as being because of an edict."

Ó Briain's tweets followed media coverage of his interview with the Radio Times, in which he took issue with the BBC announcing its decision to end all-male panels.  

Radio Times quoted Ó Briain as saying: "I wouldn't have announced it, is what I'd say. Because it means [Mock the Week guests] Katherine Ryan or Holly Walsh, who've been on millions of times, will suddenly look like the token woman.

"It would have been better if it had evolved without showing your workings, if you know what I mean. Legislating for a token woman isn't much help."

Ó Briain continued: "A certain number of women want to go into comedy, and they should be cherished and nurtured, but you're not going to shift the fact that loads more men want to do it."

He added: "I wish a tenth of the energy that was put into the women-on-panel-shows debate was put into women in computer coding, in which there are hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe, and 11% of them are done by women.

"It seems a more sensible challenge than these 300 people [in stand-up comedy] and how they are represented."

A BBC spokesperson said: "We've had fantastic feedback on this from female talent and viewers who felt that change wasn't happening fast enough. We're confident that a wider range of voices and opinions will make for even better telly."

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