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Baroness Joan Bakewell has revealed that she was sexually harassed early in her career by a junior minister. Born in Stockport and educated at Cambridge, she began her career as an advertising copywriter before moving into broadcasting. Joan Bakewell began her career as a studio manager for BBC Radio, before moving into television. She said: "I think the fact that people are phased out, people like Moira Stuart and Selina [Scott] – out of the public eye – when they become a certain age is a real disadvantage to serious broadcasting. And she’s still as forthright as ever. Joan Bakewell talks to Ian Mc Ewan and reflects with him on how belief and philosophy have influenced his personal life and professional career. I do think it’s strange, the expectation of people who stand at the altar, or wherever they make their vows, to say: ‘Till death us do part.’ I mean you’re undertaking the most amazing loyalty, but also at the exclusion of all other people on the planet from intimacy with you. Joan Bakewell writes in her memoir, The Centre of the Bed, about the moment she became an adult. The papers can be accessed through the British Library catalogue. So is this it, do you think – or might you meet someone? There were family Zooms and a walk with a friend, but it was “a day like any other” in ways, and this morning she “sneaked out to have a takeaway coffee in the street” with her other neighbour, the Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow. [16]. In April 2013, she became President of Birkbeck College. [17] Later that year, the charity Humanists UK awarded Bakewell its prize for Humanist of the Year, in recognition of her achievements in broadcasting and services to humanism and other good causes. As for her personal life, I wonder if she is actually enjoying the peace and quiet. And that’s nice to have, there’s no doubt about that.”, We talk about people who have had long marriages. I bite my lip before we get to the results’: with Stephen Mangan for Landscape Artist of the Year. She is Chairman of the theatre company Shared Experience. And they are devoted to you. Both her grandfathers were factory workers: the Rowlands branch stemmed from the lead mining villages of the Ystwyth valley, in Wales. [7][8], Taboo was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions by the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association by then headed by John Beyer. ), “I was married at 22 and I remember thinking to myself, fine, I’m really happily married now, but does this mean I only have one female-male relationship for however many years I’m going to live? In 2009, she won "Journalist of the Year" at the annual Stonewall Awards. Fantastic, she’s fantastic. And the couple got married and stayed together for 60 years.”, She adds: “It is very hard to legislate for emotional impulses of such power,” her spoken sentences often sounding as well put together as other people’s written ones, a skill honed in her long career of broadcasting. She has no respect for Boris Johnson, despite having been in a book group with his father, Stanley, for years. “I myself have been fortunate to have mine, but I am doing this on behalf of those waiting to have their second Pfizer vaccine. It was announced in November 2010 that she would be awarded a life peerage, joining the Labour benches. There's a whole segment of the British population that does not see its equivalent in serious broadcasting and that is women over 55. The Pill allowed women to make choices for themselves. So it interests me, on the morning I am to interview Bakewell, who has been a pioneering woman in media for more than half a century, to read that Oxford University is seeking to ban its dons from having sexual relationships with students. Books were the most painful – ugh, books were terrible.”. Grabbing. Joan Bakewell (1933-), Broadcaster, writer and life peer. In January 2011 she took her seat in the House of Lords as Baroness Bakewell of Stockport. She has written a book about downsizing, The Tick of Two Clocks: A Tale of Moving On, due out this year, “full of gossip, how I did it and what it felt like, bit of a diary. [22] The comments provoked strong criticism from social and print media, and an apology for hurt caused from Bakewell herself. “I have to say,” she struggles, laughing, “I’m not looking to or expecting to. And she’s still as forthright as ever. “Nobody did in the 60s and 70s, when people were still incredibly deferential. 52 ° Wed. 60 ° Thu. “SOPHIE! Obviously I don’t believe in harassment and things like that,” she explains, “but we do risk a situation where anything you don’t like, or you feel is inappropriate for your group, should in some way have a limitation on it which borders on legal. And seen a world in which women have been able to go so much further into news TV than she did. She smiles contentedly, feeling particularly good today as she has just had her first Covid vaccination and is desperate to be reunited with her children and grandchildren. Joan Bakewell has had a long and distinguished broadcasting career. Topics covered included changes to divorce law, the death penalty, the legalisation of abortion, the Race Relations Bill, the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts (using editions of the documentary series Man Alive) and the relaxation of censorship. They should have the status and love we give to our nurses. Now they’re not in the shadows. I sort of accepted the world as it was.”. Joan was made a CBE is 1999 and Dame in 2008. [28], Cathy Bakewell, Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, National Viewers' and Listeners' Association, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, "Joan Bakewell tells her side of the story about her affair with Harold Pinter", "Taboo complaints thrown out by watchdog", "Alan Titchmarsh on Channel 5 show Secrets of the National Trust", https://www1.chester.ac.uk/development-and-alumni-relations-office/your-community/meet-our-alumni/honorary-graduates/honorary-7, "Crispin Blunt and Joan Bakewell elected as Chair and Co-Chair of humanists in Parliament", "Joan Bakewell wins Humanist of the Year 2017", "Dame Joan Bakewell says Mary Whitehouse was right", "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics", "Anorexia is narcissism, says Joan Bakewell", "Joan Bakewell anorexia comments 'perpetuating stereotypes, Listen to an audio slideshow interview with Joan Bakewell, Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Joan_Bakewell&oldid=996912377, Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire, People educated at Stockport High School for Girls, People associated with Birkbeck, University of London, Pages containing London Gazette template with parameter supp set to y, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2017, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with UKPARL identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 29 December 2020, at 04:23. After a broadcasting career spanning more than half a century, Joan Bakewell has long been in national treasure territory. Joan felt deep shame, but the shame began to transmogrify. Subsequently, she returned to the BBC, and co-presented a short-lived late night television arts' programme; briefly worked on the BBC Radio 4 PM programme, and was Newsnight's arts' correspondent (1986–88). Bakewell was presented with the Richard Dimbleby Award at the joint BAFTA Film and Television Awards in 1994 BAFTA/Doug Mackenzie. It’s quite a different mindset.”, She herself was sexually assaulted by a government minister when she had to take a taxi with him many years ago – she says there’s no point naming him “because everyone from back then is dead anyhow. Baroness Bakewell is a Labour Life peer who has sat under this title in the Lords since 25 January 2011. Joan Bakewell writes in her memoir, The Centre of the Bed, about the moment she became an adult. Religious freedom! The broadcaster reflects on a life on the airwaves as she receives the Bafta Fellowship. Now it’s about freedom, in a sense, but, we mustn’t do this, and we mustn’t do that. [7] Bakewell used frank language and "four-letter words" to describe pornography and sex toys. That was the end of innocence, not the loss of virginity or any fumbling that fell short of it. 53 ° Mon. I don’t think I would influence them, but I don’t want to create any rancour. [3] She first became known as one of the presenters of the BBC2 programme, Late Night Line-Up (1965–72 and 2008). Like the NHS, the care sector should be a major commitment of government. [citation needed], In 2017, Bakewell was one of the minor hosts of the Channel 5 documentary series Secrets of the National Trust.[11]. “Well,” she replies, thinking. I didn’t know anything about her except she’s incredibly good. [13] In November 2008, Joan Bakewell was appointed a voice for older people by the UK Government. [6], In 2001, Bakewell wrote and presented a four-part series for BBC Two called Taboo, a personal exploration of the concepts of taste, decency and censorship. ‘I lived through the 1960s, which was all about gaining more freedom’: Joan Bakewell in her garden. In 2007 She was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) from the University of Chester. sexually assaulted by a government minister, she had an affair with Harold Pinter for at least seven years. Emma Barnett. Following the complaint, Bakewell faced the nominal prospect of being charged with blasphemous libel after she recited part of an erotic poem by James Kirkup concerning a Roman centurion's affection for Jesus, "The Love that Dares to Speak its Name". It was 1949 and she was 17, a hard- working grammar schoolgirl from the industrial north, when her frustrated, depressive mother found a photograph of Joan kissing a boy and set fire to it in front of her eyes. But we all hoped girls would grow to handle the new freedoms wisely. Baroness Joan Bakewell has said she was sexually assaulted early in her career by a junior government minister. You know… And there was no point in complaining because the men you complained to would be doing it, too. Bakewell was born on 16 April 1933 in Heaton Moor, Stockport, Cheshire, England, and moved to Hazel Grove before she was three. I quite often don’t agree with them! ‘I don’t approve of Boris at all when he talks about fighting or defeating the virus’: Baroness Bakewell attends the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament in 2012. “Oh yes!” she replies, with absolute delight in her voice, the tone shifting completely. Throughout a career spanning more than 60 years, Joan has been a journalist, television presenter, author, playwright and Labour Party peer. After its first publication in 1976, Denis Lemon, the editor of Gay News, had been given a nine-month suspended jail sentence. The programme examined the liberalising legislation passed by Parliament in the late 1960s. You made your own way.”, So she is delighted that the harassment now has to stop. Too interesting to just ignore.”. And she’s still as forthright as ever. Joan Bakewell had been a broadcasting pioneer for more than half a century. Squeezing. But, she jokes, her CV would be even more impressive if it weren't for Richard Curtis. Older people are in limbo. So it is just wonderful what has happened.” She really admires these women who “are so self-possessed, and attractive, and entirely themselves. [25][26] In 2017, a play first written by Bakewell in 1978 in response to Betrayal, entitled Keeping in Touch, was premiered on BBC Radio 4. I remember thinking, that’s not going to be sustainable! "[10] The Broadcasting Standards Commission rejected complaints from viewers.[8]. [1], She was educated at Stockport High School for Girls, a grammar school in local authority control, where she became head girl. Her first novel was published in March 2009 by Virago Press. “Suddenly I was savagely and tremblingly angry,” she writes. “Which were unusual before, though of course they did exist, but they were in the shadows. Journalist and TV presenter Baroness Dame Joan Bakewell is threatening the Government with legal action over delays to the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. I’m in my late 80s!” She splutters, laughing so much she can barely get the words out. [9] Bakewell later wrote that in the programme she "read this poem with extreme distaste and I hope that showed on my face. I think that’s a very wonderful attribute of marriage, and I see it around me in my friends’ marriages – and in my children’s, too. “I don’t approve really of Boris at all and he uses all this ‘We’ll fight it, we’ll defeat it’ language about the virus. Entertainment reporter. [23][24], Bakewell's autobiography, The Centre of the Bed, was published in 2004 and concentrates on her experiences as a woman in the male-dominated media industry. Bakewell writes for the British newspaper The Independent in the 'Editorial and Opinion' section. Joan Bakewell had been a broadcasting pioneer for more than half a century. [21], In March 2016, she commented in The Sunday Times that anorexia is connected with a general narcissism in 21st century western culture, and that "no-one has anorexia in societies where there is not enough food". This is it.”, “Emotionally, how do you let yourself part with all the stuff?” I ask her. I bite my lip before we get to the results. Now, that is not healthy for a broadcasting organisation's relationship with its audience. I think one of the things I miss is the sense that there is someone else in the world who thinks that you are the most important thing in their life. And she isn’t the only one.”. So I wait and let all the journos filter it so I can digest it in edible slices.”, A few weeks after we spoke, Bakewell began proceedings against the government over its policy to delay the second dose of the vaccine. She presents Portrait Artist of the Year alongside Stephen Mangan for Sky Television. We weren’t allowed to have sex at all when we were at university, but I got round it. “Well, it’s really hard. Joan Bakewell is calling for urgent action from the government to prioritise care homes Credit: Getty Images - Getty 'Care homes must be given priority' In these difficult times, carers are having the worst of all worlds. Now aged 86, she shows no signs of slowing down and is co-presenting the Sky Arts Landscape Artist Of The Year series. So it’s a bit about facing up to the fact that this is it, this is where I shall live until I die now. Because the world is full of extremely interesting people, and bonds arise between them. “I have felt the absence of the other. “Absolutely! She watched a couple having sex while they were making a pornographic film and read out an "obscene" extract from the novel Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller. Her full title is The Baroness Bakewell DBE, and her given name is Joan Dawson Bakewell. That there is one other person to whom you’re attached who thinks that you are the most wonderful person in the world. Sitter in 5 portraits Broadcaster, journalist, writer and Labour Party Peer. Arts' coverage was then dropped from news programmes in the era of John Birt's changes to the BBC. “I thought about Héloïse and Abelard, I thought here we go,” she says, referencing the French philosopher who had a passionate affair with a student, which led to such scandal that he was castrated, and only 1,000 years ago. View All Result . I think it helps if you are getting rid of it in the interests of building something else – while you’re losing all the extra stuff. ABOUT US; ADVERTISE; CAREERS; Sunday, January 17, 2021. On the maternal side, her grandfather was a cooper in Ardwick Brewery. “Yes, well the judges will say I am a bit of a problem like that, haha. And that seems not quite… balanced, somehow.”. Frank Muir dubbed her "the thinking man's crumpet"[4] during this period and the moniker stuck, although Bakewell herself dislikes the epithet. Bakewell's au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, The Cen­tre of the Bed, was pub­lished in 2004. “So remarkable that they often take it for granted.”. “I mean Emily’s wonderful, isn’t she? The enemy was up there bombing.”, She can’t stand watching the regular Covid press conferences “because I get so angry and so irritated. Sp s film inc sp s intv, dupe film inc B/W & cprt, stills,... Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images Joan Dawson Bakewell, Baroness Bakewell, DBE, HonFBA, FRSA (née Rowlands; born 16 April 1933), is an English journalist, television presenter and Labour Party peer. "[19], In 2010, Bakewell criticised the side effects of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. But it’s a lovely, expert programme that will change the way you look at paintings.”. The Labour life peer said there were grounds to show … “Well a lot of my female friends are married to each other. The broadcaster, whose career spans more than 50 years, also described the sexism she experienced while working for the BBC. WEEKLY NEWSLETTER 41 °f. And that was a marvellous opportunity. I am bringing this case because I believe the government needs to make this clear.”. Labour peer Baroness Joan Bakewell reveals she was sexually assaulted early in her career Baroness Joan Bakewell has revealed that she was sexually harassed early in her career by a junior government minister. The liberal mood back in the '60s was that sex was pleasurable and wholesome and shouldn't be seen as dirty and wicked. I found this on #BBCProgrammeExplorer where you can search 207,117 radio and TV programmes from across the BBC. Typically, her articles concern aspects of social life and culture but sometimes she writes more political articles, often focusing on aspects relevant to life in the United Kingdom. It was the water you swam in and you got used to avoiding the rocks and the sharks. In September 2008 she began a fortnightly column in the Times2 section of The Times. DAME JOAN BAKEWELL has a CV to envy. Baroness Bakewell is President of Birkbeck, University of London; she is also an author and playwright, and has been awarded Humanist of the year for services to humanism. Was far more complicated than that. looks at career of 'failure and recovery ' by Steven McIntosh ”! If she is Chairman of the presenters of the Bed, about moment... The tone shifting completely receives the Bafta Fellowship to our nurses [ 13 ] in 2008. 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