Following accusations that her appearance makes her an “embarrassment” to be seen on the BBC, Cambridge classics fellow Prof. Mary Beard has detailed her revenge.
Following the airing of the Newnham don’s BBC documentary ‘Meet The Romans’ last week, Sunday Times TV critic A A Gill wrote a scathing report. He said: “For someone who looks this closely at the past, it is strange she hasn’t had a closer look at herself before stepping in front of a camera.”
Responding in the Daily Mail on Monday, Beard threatened to wreak her revenge by force-feeding Gill while making him watch her programmes in full, stating that the “acid-tongued critic” is “frightened of smart women who speak their minds.”
Gill, who has previously come under fire for his description of BBC sports commentator and fellow Newnham graduate Clare Balding as a “dyke on a bike”, said: “This isn’t sexist or beside the point. If you’re going to invite yourself into the front rooms of the living, then you need to make an effort.” He also claimed Beard should be featured on ‘The Undateables’, a current Channel 4 programme following the love lives of the mentally disabled and facially disfigured.
Openly admitting the lack of attention she pays to her appearance, Beard said asked: “What is beauty after all? Is it someone who is Botoxed to the eyeballs, or someone who feels beautiful under their own skin?”
Beard also attacked Gills skills of argument saying: “even the greenest of my students would not present me with an essay as ill-argued and off the point.’ She asked viewers to judge her documentary on its content, and not the appearance of the presenter: ‘see my programmes for yourself and decide if it is worth investing your time in watching me, even with my grey hair, double chin and wrinkles”.
Connie Fisher – Deputy News Editor