Ms. Long, you missed the jokeMon Apr 2018

I don’t normally comment on friendly fire but when Camilla Long chuckles about being stood down for a spot on Have I Got News For You for Nicky Morgan’s handbag (when Morgan pulled out in 2016) in the Sunday Times this week, she really misses the joke. This was after a decision that the status quo (exclusively male line ups) couldn’t continue and at least one woman (in reality at most one woman) had to be included on panel shows. Getting round the rule because of a cancellation was a jolly ‘up yours’ to interference – and to every woman on the circuit. It also consolidated the false idea that there weren’t loads of talented women like Camilla Long on standby, and excuse me, actual stand ups. Forget politicians and newsreaders, there are loads of real life comics, funny, alpha, female comics, sparring in clubs every damned night who will never get a chance to ‘joust’ with Merton because a journalist is taking the only seat women are apparently allowed. Meanwhile our male colleagues slip in and out of these shows on a weekly basis without feeling obliged to represent their entire gender. As far as I can see, it would be easier to get a spot on HIGNFY by joining UKIP than doing stand up for my living. Articles like this make the problem worse. You can argue a handbag is funnier than you if you must, Ms Long, but it sure as shit ain’t funnier than me.

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