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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 August 2005, 09:31 GMT 10:31 UK
Buerk attacks women broadcasters
Michael Buerk
Michael Buerk said it was time for society to address the problem
Newsreader Michael Buerk has said "almost all the big jobs in broadcasting are held by women" who "decide what we see and hear".

The former Nine O'Clock News presenter told the Radio Times: "Life is lived in accordance with women's rules" and men are now merely "sperm donors".

Buerk added that the "shift in the balance of power between the sexes" had gone too far.

"The result is men are becoming more like women," he said.

He cited Tim Henman and David Beckham as examples.

Most women aren't going to want an unemployable sperm donor loafing around and making the house look untidy
Michael Buerk

His views are to be screened in a new channel Five series Don't Get Me Started! which gives some of the UK's leading opinion-formers a chance to sound off on the issues they feel most strongly about.

He said while making the programme he "came across what I considered a very personal example of the changes that have taken place".

"Almost all the big jobs in broadcasting were held by women - the controllers of BBC One television and Radio 4 for example. These are the people who decide what we see and hear", he said.

Former BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessey has left the BBC, and has been replaced by a man, Peter Fincham, while Mark Damazer is now the BBC Radio 4 controller, replacing Helen Boaden who is now head of BBC News.

The BBC declined to comment on Buerk's assertions.

Male traits

Buerk added that it was time for society to admit there was a problem.

"Look at the changes in the workplace. There is no manufacturing industry any more; there are no mines; few vital jobs require physical strength," he added.

"What we have now are lots of jobs that require people skills and multi-tasking - which women are a lot better at."

'Happy medium'

While Buerk admitted a lot of the changes were for the better, he questioned whether things had gone too far.

"Products are made for women, cars are made for women - because they control what is being bought," he said.

"Some people might argue that this is a case of the pendulum swinging over the woman's side for a change, and eventually it will find a happy medium."

He added he felt men were being given a lesser role in society.

"All they are is sperm donors, and most women aren't going to want an unemployable sperm donor loafing around and making the house look untidy."

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