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Great British Bake Off’s Sandi Toksvig: Women are made to feel ‘marginalised and stupid’ on panel shows

Ella Braidwood September 11, 2018
Sandi Toksvig, a joint founder of the Women's Equality Party

Sandi Toksvig, a joint founder of the Women's Equality Party (OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty)

QI host Sandi Toksvig has said that women feel discouraged from going on panel shows because they are edited out.

It comes after Toksvig, who also co-hosts the Great British Bake Off, revealed that she is only paid 40 per cent of former QI host Stephen Fry’s salary.

Speaking in the latest print issue of Radio Times, Toksvig said that she hoped that her show provided “a comfortable place for women.”

Toksvig in June 2018. (Tristan Fewings/Getty)

“There are panel shows that struggle to get women on, and that’s because the women feel marginalised and stupid and in the edit are often seen just laughing at the boys and not saying anything at all even though I know for a fact in the recording they were clever,” she said.`

“I’m not shy at speaking up but even I, on those shows, am silenced. And I sit there and think, ‘I could have been at home eating Chinese. What am I doing sitting here?’ And that’s a shame.”

Toksvig, a joint founder of the Women’s Equality (WE) party, became the first female host of a comedy panel show on a mainstream UK TV channel when she took over from Fry as host of QI in 2015.

Speaking at the WE conference in Kettering on Saturday, Toksvig revealed that she is paid 60 percent less than her predecessor Fry, which she said was the same amount as regular panellist Alan Davies.

“Until now I had held back from talking about this because this is not about me,” she said.

“However, the lack of transparency around pay is a big part of the problem and I hope that being open, I can support women whose work is undervalued.”

Great British Bake Off, which Toksvig hosts alongside Noel Fielding, kicked off on August 28.

Queer fans have banded behind contestant Dan Beasley-Harling, who is a full-time gay dad.

More: great british bake off, QI, Sandi Toksvig, Women's Equality Party

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