TV legend Anne Robinson has waded into a transgender rights row – saying ‘a woman is someone with a vagina’.
The famously blunt presenter declared her position on the ongoing row over trans rights in an interview with the Daily Telegraph a week after quitting as host of game show Countdown after just a year.
Anne added that she was aghast at what she called the lack of ‘safety’ in women-only spaces such as changing rooms at swimming pools.
She said that she is worried about the allowing of transgender people who have not undergone sex reassignment surgery into these spaces.
‘I’m horrified by the lack of safety in women’s changing rooms, at swimming pools and that sort of thing.
‘The most interesting statistic is that the amount of trans [people] who actually surgically get altered is miniscule. So you are talking about men in women’s changing rooms.’
The famously blunt presenter (centre) declared her position on the ongoing row over trans rights in an interview with the Daily Telegraph
Anne made her name as the ‘Queen of Mean’ as host of the BBC’s The Weakest Link
Anne told the Telegraph she had never met anyone ‘who hates the idea that we can define a woman with common sense.
‘I’ve never met this person that’s so angry. I suspect they’re angry [anyway] and this has been quite good to latch on to.’
Anne’s lack of exposure to the toxicity of the trans row could be down to the fact she is not on social media because it ‘doesn’t pay’.
Britain currently faces a deep divide on the issue of transgender rights.
Some activists say that trans people should be able to self-identify with the gender of their choosing.
But others have hit back at that idea – saying it would leave women-only spaces vulnerable to predatory behaviour.
Trans rights became a hot-button issue in 2017, when plans to change the Gender Recognition Act to allow transgender people to self-identify in a gender different to that corresponds with their sex were announced by Justine Greening.
Advocates for transgender people welcomed the move to scrap the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria to be legally recognised as the gender they identify as.
This sparked a backlash from some who said the removal of this process would put women-only spaces at risk.
The Government later dropped the plans despite a public consultation in 2020 showing a majority of respondents backed self-identification.
In the interview, Anne said she was concerned that parents were ‘taking their unhappy children to the Tavistock [clinic] when they’re 13’ and not adequately scrutinising whether they are indeed transgender.
‘How do you know that’s what it is? That’s what your child is telling you it is. It’s that phrase: ‘Will that be what you want when you grow up?’, she said.
She then quipped: ‘That’s what I should have said to myself when I accepted Countdown’.
Anne revealed last week she quit Countdown over a pay dispute and she did insist on ‘noisy’ Susie Dent and Rachel Riley’s mics being switched off.
The presenter, 77, who was employed on a freelance basis, admitted that despite being offered a pay rise, she did not want to join Channel 4’s payroll and so decided to walk away from her role as host.
It was revealed that she was leaving Countdown after just one year, earlier this week by The Daily Mail’s Alison Boshoff, with Anne adding that she has since smoothed over the rift with her co-stars.
Honest: Anne Robinson, 77, revealed she quit Countdown over pay dispute and admits that she did insist on ‘noisy’ Susie Dent and Rachel Riley’s mics being switched off on Wednesday
Speaking to The Sun, she confessed: ‘I come from a long line of alcoholic, Irish bandits so to suggest I go PAYE is a bit like asking Philip Green or Richard Branson to join the company payroll.
‘I wasn’t interested in any offer on that basis. Even if it included financial parity. I will, however, miss out on the Channel 4 luncheon vouchers, which is a big regret.’
Speaking with Emma Barnett on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, she added: ‘I marched so that your generation would be really clever at negotiating your salaries and your pay, and you’re all absolutely hopeless at it. Why? It’s so easy. There’s about six steps to getting the money you want.’
Of the rift with her co-stars Rachel and Susie she admitted that she had been annoyed by their time-keeping and noisiness (Rachel and Susie pictured)
Anne continued: ‘What happens is some bloke comes in with his friend, gives you the interview and says ‘we’re going to pay you this’, you say ‘thank you very much’. What you have to realise, they go outside and they do high fives because you’ve accepted the first offer.’
Of the rift with her co-stars Rachel and Susie she admitted that she had been annoyed by their time-keeping and noisiness.
But later said: ‘They’re both brilliant at what they do. I mean they really, really are. Channel 4 are incredibly lucky to have them. And there isn’t a rift.
‘It was me wanting everyone to be quiet in the studio. I like everyone turning up on time and quiet, quiet, quiet. So we did have to iron that out. But that’s it.’