'Last bastion of sexism'

Ravens condemns comedy

Comedy is a last bastion of sexism, impressionist Jan Ravens has claimed.

The star of Dead Ringers claims the profession is male-dominated and it's hard for women to get recognised.

She complained: "I've done it for 20 years, but people still ask: 'Who is this girl?'

"Comedy is one of the last bastions of sexism, and I don't know why.

"Not many women want to do sketches, possibly because they are considered bitchy."

Ravens is used to breaking down glass ceilings. She was the first female president of the Cambridge Footlights - directing the likes of Hugh Lawrie, Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson - and the BBC's first female comedy producer.

"But I wasn't cut out for it," she told the Radio Times. "It was difficult telling established actors on Week Ending how I thought a line should go. When I didn't renew one of their contracts, another actor took me aside in the pub and said, 'I see you for what you are, and ambitious little cow.' All very frightening."

Ravens also provides voices on 2DTV, which returned to ITV on Saturday, and characters for Alistair McGowan's Big Impression.

Published: 29 Apr 2002

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