“Sofagate” has erupted with accusations of sexism on BBC Breakfast over where their male and female presenters sit on the sofa.
I’ve heard of seating plans at weddings causing fraught feelings, but it seems the famous red sofa has launched the “Sofagate Debate” on apparent pecking order and seniority when it comes to presenter pairing.
Louise Minchin, a regular presenter for a decade, is understood to be unhappy that newbie host Dan Walker has been given the prized left-hand spot on the sofa vacated by Bill Turnbull.
Apparently – and I didn’t know this – within the television industry, the camera left spot is often seen as signalling seniority.
This is a real thing? I never knew sofas were such a source of deep-seated sexism.
But interestingly, since Sofagate became a hot topic, you start noticing how many male presenters do sit on the left when they’re part of a male female presenting duo.
I definitely agree that even in these enlightened times, sexism does still exist in the workplace – you only have to look at the gender pay gap to see that. However, does which side of the sofa you sit on really dictate how “superior” or “valued” you are? I’m not convinced.
Louise Minchin is an accomplished and successful journalist, so does sitting on a certain side of the sofa lessen that in any way?
I personally don’t think so and they should let the lovely Louise sit wherever she wants. The BBC has denied there is any seniority in terms of who sits where on the BBC Breakfast sofa.
Producers say it is all about judging the best camera angle for the presenters and that sitting Minchin on the left didn’t work visually, partly down to Walker being 6ft 6ins tall.
So they’re not being sexist, but heightist.
Frankly, unless Louise Minchin’s side of the sofa has dodgy springs which are sticking into her backside while Dan Walker is sitting in the lap of luxury on a heated seat, I don’t see how it makes an iota of difference.
Does it not boil down to what feels comfortable and right?
However adventurous we like to think we all are, we’re creatures of habit when it comes to some things.
Take parking spots for example. We all have our favourite parking spots, and even if we have no ownership over them, we feel they rightfully belong to us.
Every morning, I drive into the work car park and always park in the same parking space. And on the rare occasions when someone dares to park in “my” spot, I feel a deep sense of outrage and indignation.
Even though the parking space doesn’t have my initials on it, I feel possessive of it, and I only feel comfortable parking there.
Mind you, I have been guilty of encroaching onto other people’s parking spaces. Some months ago, I went to the local police headquarters to carry out an interview and on driving around the busy car park, I was thrilled to find a spot and quickly whizzed my car in.
It was only when I was nearing the end of my chat with the superintendent that she received a telephone call and tried to suppress her snigger as she informed me I had parked in the Chief Constable’s space.
I wondered what that “CC” had stood for!
As for which side of the bed you sleep on, well that’s a total hotbed of a topic.
Most of us have our favourite side of the bed and don’t tend to vary it whether at home or when staying at a hotel or on holiday – I always sleep on the left side.
A few months ago, Hubby suggested trying something new in the bedroom department by swapping sides as he wanted to “see what it was like sleeping on my side”.
Let me tell you, sleeping on his side was horrible. I’ve never had such a terrible night’s sleep and woke up with a crick in my neck.
So maybe even if Louise Minchin had been given the left-hand side of the Breakfast sofa, she wouldn’t have liked it anyway.
All this talk of sides got me thinking about the origin of the phrase “right-hand man” or, if we’re being equal, “right-hand woman”.
Apparently, it is derived from Jesus sitting at the right hand of God and is the person who someone of power relates to best.
Ah, maybe that’s why Louise Minchin wasn’t best pleased if sitting on the right meant an admission that Dan was the one in power.
Hang on a minute! If I sleep on the left-hand side of the bed, it means that Hubby is my right-hand man.
Which means I’m the one in power! As if there was ever any doubt.