Entertainment

Sandi Toksvig admits she wants to quit TV – for a very good reason

Emma Powys Maurice July 15, 2021
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Sandi Toksvig

Sandi Toksvig at a special VIP dinner at Global Goals Forest For Change on 15 June, 2021 (Dave Benett/Getty)

National treasure Sandi Toksvig has revealed that she wants to give up her career in the public eye to become a teacher.

Best known for hosting QI and The Great British Bake Off, the quick-witted writer, comedian, broadcaster, actor, podcaster and presenter is one of the nation’s best-loved TV personalities – but it seems she’s got her sights set on another career.

The star admitted she’d love to take a step back from fame and become a teacher of women’s history, if only family and financial commitments weren’t standing in her way.

“I’d like to not be in the public eye and teach,” Toksvig told the Mirror. “I’d like to teach women’s history, that would be wonderful.

“But I still have a mortgage. A mortgage and expensive children. So, you know, good luck with that! But meanwhile, I’ll carry on making very nice programmes and writing books.”

In 2015 Sandi Toksvig left her job as presenter of The News Quiz to co-found the Women’s Equality Party, whose mission statement includes fighting for equal representation in politics, business, media and education.

While Toksvig would undoubtedly make an incredible women’s history teacher, it’s a relief to know she’ll be staying on our screens for a few more years yet.

At 63, she’s one of a very small group of women who are fronting prime-time game shows. “It’s ridiculous [that there aren’t more] because it’s not that difficult a job,” she said.

“It’s easier asking the questions than trying to answer them. No question about it.”

Sandi Toksvig ‘paid 60 per cent less’ than Stephen Fry on QI

Sandi Toksvig has previously spoken of the lack of female representation on TV, saying women often feel discouraged from going on panel shows because they are edited out.

“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 told the Radio Times in 2018.

“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.”

At a Women’s Equality party conference in the same year, Toksvig revealed that as QI host she was paid 60 percent less than her predecessor Stephen Fry – 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.”

Related topics: Sandi Toksvig

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