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‘Everyone pays a licence fee whether they’re black, brown, gay or trans’


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BBC News presenter and Mastermind front-man Clive Myrie has lauded the corporation for its diverse catalogue of on-screen talent.

Myrie became the first Black presenter to sit in the Mastermind host’s chair following stints from Magnus Magnusson and John Humphrys.

He’s now addressed how his appointment broke tradition of it being a “middle-class, white male” in the hot seat.

When asked if he was “glad” the tradition had changed, Myrie shared his thoughts on the Beeb’s decision.

“I think the BBC wants to reflect the British audience,” Myrie said. “And that’s to be applauded because it means you get a wider constituency of people buying into these shows.

“If nothing else, that is vital for the BBC, because everyone pays a licence fee whether they’re black, brown, gay or trans.”

Clive Myrie

Clive Myrie was unveiled as new Mastermind host in early 2021


Speaking in this week’s Radio Times, Myrie was also asked if he felt it was an “important thing” for his face to be seen in the high-profile role.

“No, not at all,” Myrie said. “But when I went back into the newsroom after it had been announced, the team gave me a round of applause.”

Myrie went on to reveal words of wisdom imparted by the late George Alagiah once he was unveiled as the new Mastermind host.

“(He) took me to one side and said, ‘Do you have any idea how big this is? The BBC has been willing to give a person of colour this job: 26 years Magnus Magnusson, 18 years John Humphrys and now you. That’s amazing. You should be really proud.'”

Radio Times

Clive Myrie was speaking in this week’s Radio Times


Myrie admitted the significance of his appointment hadn’t “twigged” until the compliments from his then-colleague.

Representation on the Beeb has hit headlines in recent weeks after the corporation responded to complaints about a trans character in Doctor Who.

During the Christmas period, David Tennant reprised the role of the Doctor before handing the reins to Ncuti Gatwa and was introduced to the new character, Rose (played by Yasmin Finney).

Rose was a trans female character and as such, a number of storylines centred on pronouns and her family adapting to her transition.

Clive Myrie

Clive Myrie has defended the Beeb


The BBC received over 100 complaints following Rose’s introduction to which it stood firm.

“As regular viewers of Doctor Who will be aware, the show has and will always continue to proudly celebrate diversity and reflect the world we live in,” the BBC said.

“We are always mindful of the content within our episodes.”

The BBC states on its diversity and inclusion webpage: “At the BBC we are committed to creating an inclusive workforce, by reflecting and representing the diversity of the UK. The BBC is for everyone and should include everyone whatever their background.

“We are a diverse organisation and have much to be proud of, but we are also challenging ourselves to ensure that Diversity and Inclusion is hardwired into everything the BBC does.

“If we get it right, it will be evident in how we work with our audiences, our people and our partners.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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