May 8, 2007 / 12:50 PM / 11 years ago

Patrick Moore blames women for falling BBC standards

LONDON (Reuters) - Veteran astronomer Sir Patrick Moore has blamed women bosses at the BBC for ruining television with a galaxy of lifestyle shows he says should be consigned to the nearest black hole.

“The trouble is that the BBC now is run by women and it shows: soap operas, cooking, quizzes, kitchen-sink plays,” he told the Radio Times. “You wouldn’t have had that in the golden days.”

Sir Patrick, 84, who is celebrating the 50th year of “The Sky at Night”, one of the world’s longest-running series, said television was now “much worse” than when he started out.

Political correctness has wrecked some of his favourite shows, he added.

“I used to watch Doctor Who and Star Trek, but they went PC -- making women commanders, that kind of thing. I stopped watching,” he said.

Moore once even cast a monocled eye over EastEnders while in hospital, but said he wasn’t hooked.

“I suppose it’s true to life. But so is diarrhoea - and I don’t want to see that on television,” he said.

Women newsreaders didn’t escape his criticism.

“These jokey women are not for me,” he said. “There was one day (in 2005) when BBC news went on strike. Then we had the headlines read by a man, talking the Queen’s English, reading the news impeccably.”

Moore, who admitted being “rather hurt” earlier this year when the BBC put out the 650th edition of his programme at the unearthly hour of 1:55 a.m., has dreamed up a solution to TV’s woes.

“I would like to see two independent wavelengths -- one controlled by women, and one for us, controlled by men. I think it may eventually happen.”

The BBC shrugged off the criticism, describing Moore as one of the most loved figures on British television.

“He is, as always, forthright in his personal views and that’s what we all love about him,” a BBC spokesman said.

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