Jo Brand delivered a ringing rebuke to Have I Got News For You’s all-male panel after they appeared to downplay claims of sexual harassment in Westminster.
The BBC audience cheered guest host Brand after she pointed out that it didn’t take “high level” crime for women to feel “under siege in somewhere like the House of Commons”.
— Rob Williams (@BobJWilliams) November 3, 2017
In a segment looking at a recent headline – ‘Tory MP takes his personal trainer to the cinema’ – Have I Got News For You team captain Ian Hislop said, “Some of this is not high level crime, is it, compared to say Putin or Trump?”
Brand however cut Hislop off, saying, “If I could only say that as the only representative of the female gender here today, I know it’s not high level but it doesn’t have to be high level for women to feel under siege in somewhere like the House of Commons.
“And actually for women, if you’re constantly being harassed even in a small way, that builds up and that wears you down,” she continued to cheers from the audience.
“Sorry, I thought I was on Question Time for a minute,” she concluded.
Hislop responded, “No, and as you point out with four blokes sitting around you we’re hardly in a position to say, ‘That’s rubbish’.”
Hislop and fellow team captain Paul Merton were joined by comedian Miles Jupp and journalist Quentin Letts, a line-up which viewers deemed misjudged given the topic under discussion on the BBC satirical show.
Why in Gods name did the BBC put four 40 year old white men on #hignfy to discuss the Westminster sex scandal!? Thank God for Jo Brand.
— Ian William Lowe (@ianwilliamlowe) November 3, 2017
— Sophie Walker (@SophieRunning) November 4, 2017
to me it's especially significant as Jo Brand used to be the only woman I saw on a comedy panel growing up. She still is often the only one.
— Rossalyn Warren (@RossalynWarren) November 4, 2017
In another section, when Letts called journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer “a big strong girl”, Brand replied, “She’s a woman, Quentin, she’s not a girl”.
In August this year, BBC Radio 4 revealed that it would be making a predominantly-female topical comedy series called Where’s the F in News, led by Have I Got News For You producer Jo Bunting.
Watch the full episode of Have I Got News For You on BBC iPlayer here.