BBC presenter Clare Balding revealed on Twitter last week that she had complained to the Press Complaints Commission over Sunday Times writer AA Gill describing her as a “dyke on a bike” in a review of her new cycling programme, Britain By Bike.
Balding, who is gay, later told the Guardian that she had taken her complaint to the PCC after complaining to Sunday Times editor John Witherow and being ‘appalled’at his response.
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Balding told the Guardian:
“I just think there is a time when you say enough is enough. I can take pretty much anything. Words are just words. I’ve been through a lot worse. But this has a huge impact on lots of other people and that’s why I thought: ‘That’s not on.’
“If I said something like that on the BBC I would be sacked in two minutes.
“One can’t change AA Gill. But I am really disappointed in the editorial stance of the Sunday Times.”
Richard Caseby, the managing editor at The Sunday Times, talked to the Independent about the PCC complaint
“We’ve received it. We will be responding in due course,’he said.
The PCC today told Press Gazette that it had received a complaint from Balding under clause 12 (discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice and that the commission would now look into the matter.
The PCC spokesman said the commission had also received a further ten complaints about AA Gill’s treatment of Balding, but would pursue the matter solely with the presenter.