It also means that Twitter's delayed hostile reaction â kicked into gear by an Observer interview with Danny Cohen who said "We're not going to have panel shows on any more with no women on themâ¦You can't do that. It's not acceptable" - to the new BBC female friendly attitude is actually reasonably understandable.
If you don't care for Sandi Toksvig, Susan Calman, Jo Brand or Sue Perkins - the women most heavily featured on panel shows currently - then you might well believe women can't be amusing on a comedy panel show.
it is not that fewer women have the comedy knack, just that for some reason bookers don't have the knackers to book them
Which is why a recurring joke you will notice on Twitter concerning this BBC endeavour is one demanding that Loose Women addresses the balance too and has a male on the show. Haha Loose Women! But that's a girl's show. Hilarious. Stephen Fry on Loose Women. Ha ha ha ha. Yeah I should tweet that. Never mind that while it does have a panel it is not a comedy show. It's sincerely looked upon as quite a big and rather silly shake up of shows we have great affection for.
The shows and male comedians are so well established that there is a well beaten pathway for men to only concern themselves with being funny in the ways they know that work for them. If you're new you wait for the right moment when you can make a joke of yours relevant and gabble it out. If it works, you're in. If it doesn't, another time.
If you're the (usually token) women on a panel show you're automatically given the role as Representative of All Funny Women. If you play the fool, Alan Davies style, you risk being taken to task for portraying all women of being ditzy. If you know all the answers relating to current affairs you weren't being funny enough. If you are a victim of the editor's whim you might be reduced to the silent guest and harangued for not opening your mouth for the entire show.
With a new view on guest lists for comedy panel shows we should see some new women displaying their comedy talents without having to concern themselves with the responsibility of being somehow token.
Next stop for the BBC? More diversity please.