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‘Where are the female chat show hosts!?’


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Sandi Toksvig, the current presenter of BBC quiz show QI, has called for more female representation on screens.

This year marks the eighth year that Toksvig has fronted the popular BBC quiz show after taking over from long-running male presenter Stephen Fry, 66.

Toksvig also served as one-half of The Great British Bake Off presenting duo alongside Noel Fielding for three years between 2017 and 2020.

When she left Channel 4’s Bake Off, Toksvig was replaced by male comedian Matt Lucas – although he’s since departed and Alison Hammond has taken over alongside Fielding.

Toksvig’s appointment on a long-running BBC quiz show isn’t the only one in recent years, with Clive Myrie taking the reins of Mastermind in 2021 and Amol Rajan replacing Jeremy Paxman in the University Challenge hot seat last year.

In a new interview, Toksvig was asked if such appointments mark a shift towards more diverse quizzing, to which she replied: “It’s time.

Sandi Toksvig

Sandi Toksvig is the current QI presenter


“Knowledge doesn’t belong to one demographic, it belongs to all of us.”

However, there is more to be done according to Toksvig who said: “I would still like to see more women in charge of shows.

“Being the quizmaster, between you and me, is the easiest job in the world because they tell you the answers beforehand.

“And those cards on which the answers are printed are not as heavy as some of those boys led us to believe; it’s really fine for a woman to do it.”

Singling out one area of TV specifically, the QI host fumed: “And let’s not even start on chat show hosts. Where are the female chat show hosts?”

Elsewhere in the interview with Radio Times, Toksvig was probed on whether or not taking over from Fry – whose latest show Jeopardy! has come under heavy criticism since its ITV reboot – was a difficult task.

“I was too short for Stephen’s chair. I literally had to be lifted up into it,” Toksvig told the publication.

“That was a bugbear and after two years of hosting I said, ‘I’m not doing another year unless I get my own chair.’

Sandi Toksvig

Sandi Toksvig wants to see more women quiz show and chat show presenters


“I’ve known Stephen since I was 19 years old, because we were at university together. I perhaps have a different view of him than most people.

“I remember him as a boy. And I’d been a guest many times on QI. So I just thought, ‘Yay, let’s do this. This is great’.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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