The Chase‘s Anne Hegerty – aka the Governess – angered viewers of Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff today (March 15) after making an insensitive comment to transgender campaigner and journalist Paris Lees.
Anne and Paris joined Matthew Wright on his discussion show this morning where, among other things, the panel talked about the gender pay gap, with Anne and Paris disagreeing over its existence.
During the chat, Anne reaffirmed that she’s “on record as not really being terribly bothered” about the pay gap, saying she thinks if women want the leadership roles they should go after them.
“So you don’t think there’s an old boys’ club at the top then?” Paris asked, prompting Anne to reply: “No, no not really.”
When Paris replied that she’d “have to disagree”, Anne added: “Okie doke. Well, you used to be a boy, you’d know that.”
The moment was followed by a shocked pause in the studio, before Matthew went on to move the discussion forwards, but viewers at home were already horrified at Anne’s comment:
In a statement given to The Sun, Paris called the moment “shocking” and added that she hoped Anne didn’t mean the comment maliciously.
“It was so shocking,” Paris said. “The whole studio – the audience fell silent. I don’t think anyone knew what to say. You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife.
“I was so shocked, I was processing it. I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I love the show and Matthew, and I’m sure she didn’t mean to be malicious. I hope she didn’t mean it to come across the way it did.
“I didn’t say anything backstage, but everyone else came and checked I was OK. I’m not easily shaken, I’ve had worse in my time, but when you’re on TV, you don’t expect it.”
Digital Spy has also reached out to Anne Hegerty’s rep for comment.
The Wright Stuff airs daily at 9.15am on Channel 5.
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