Woman’s Hour “may not always be ready” to start on time every morning, warned the BBC at a delayed press conference with its new Editor Lucy Jones. Listeners to BBC Radio 4’s flagship programme for and by women, with its familiar mix of make up tips and rape statistics, “will just have to be patient and wait,” snapped Ms Jones.
“The longer people nag and say ‘WHEN will you be ready?’ the later it’s likely to be. The women on Woman’s Hour are the same as women worldwide. We have to multitask. The pressures on our time are special, and that needs to be taken on board. And it’s not funny.”
Asked whether Woman’s Hour would run the whole hour if it were late on the air, Ms Jones said, “First, will you stop going on about late. That’s all we ever hear. "Late late late. Oh do hurry up" You seem to be obsessed. You'll make everyone late by going on about late. If we do come on – and there are no promises mind – at say seven minutes past then of course we’d expect to be on for the full hour. That’s what it says on the tin. Woman’s Hour. Not Woman’s 56 minutes. I mean not 53 minutes. So if we came on at seven minutes past ten, then of course as I said it would be 53 minutes to the next...but we'd want the whole hour, so we would have to finish at...Anyway if you don’t like it you can go without us. Now shut up about late.”
Elsewhere, women in the media have reacted angrily to the BBC’s announcement that broadcasters should be flexible about when women's output came on. Carol Vorderman, due to present a run of ITV’s Loose Women warned “I would be furious if my slot was tampered with.”