TV panel show ‘Mock the Week’ is under fire for not featuring an openly gay or bisexual man in nine years.
The long-running BBC topical panel show has aired 155 episodes over 12 years.
Partly in response to criticism about the lack of female panellists on Mock the Week, in the BBC in 2014 required at least one woman to appear on every panel show.
But despite the boost in female representation in recent years, the show has come under fire again this week for lack of representation.
Writing for the i newspaper, Stephen Bailey revealed that despite now featuring up to five guest comics per episode, Mock the Week has not featured a single openly gay or bisexual male comedian since 2008.
Several LGB women have appeared on the show, with Zoe Lyons chalking up 11 appearances and Susan Calman appearing once.
But according to a list of panellists, no openly gay man has appeared on the show since an appearance by Stephen K Amos in 2008 – despite the popularity of comics.
Bailey, who is a warm-up comic for several TV shows, wrote: “Some comedy shows on certain channels insist that there must be gender and ethnic diversity on each panel.
“Of course there should be; it represents excellent progress in the UK in 2017, but there doesn’t seem to be the same need for gay men.
“There is outrage on my Facebook from my peers every time there is an episode of Mock the Week, for example, and the entire line-up is six white men.
“I get it. I understand, it’s not representative – and it is wrong.
“The outrage comes primarily from the lack of a woman, yet I cannot remember the last time there was a gay man on Mock the Week.”
He added: “When fighting for diversity on screen, shouldn’t we all be fighting for all the brilliant women in comedy, the excellent comedians from different ethnic backgrounds and the hilarious – and yes sometimes camp – LGBT comics?”
Bailey continued: “Recently, I was doing the warm-up for another television show that was about computer games. They have their hosts, their team captains and every episode they have a male and female guest, which I think is brilliant and progressive.
“Yet, two series in, they have not had a gay, male comedian as a guest. I realise it could bring about the end of television, but imagine if one week they had a woman and a gay man as guests.”