New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Culture
  2. Art & Design
6 February 2015updated 12 Oct 2023 10:07am

The BBC uses Grayson Perry’s New Statesman guest edit to advertise the Today Programme

The Great White Male rears his head again.

By Media Mole

After Question Time on 5 February the BBC aired a new TV ad for their flagship radio current affairs programme, Today:

It features the voice of the artist Grayson Perry, punchily taking on male privilege: “The Great White Male – white, middle-class men – probably only make up about 10 per cent of the population, and yet 70 per cent of government, I don’t know, 80 per cent of boardroom directors, 90 per cent of Hollywood film directors are male. The middle-class male thinks he has the monopoly on objectivity.”

John Humphrys: “Positive discrimination, that’s what’s got to happen.”

Perry: “Yeah, and anyone who complains about it, that’s because their privilege is being ripped out of their claws.”

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

It ends with the slogan: To see the world clearly, listen to the Today programme.

This mole, loyal NS denzien that it is, is not prone to blowing the magazine’s own trumpet. But as that trumpet appears to be on loan to the Today programme, we have bought a new one, and will now take this opportunity to blow it.

Perry’s comments, of course, were inspired not by a spontaneous sparring match with Humphrys, but by a long and considered essay that he wrote for the issue of the New Statesman that he edited in October 2014, on the theme of the Great White Male. The issue also featured Perry’s interview with Martin Amis and contributions from Stephen Fry, Mary Beard, Rowan Williams, Margaret Atwood, Alain de Botton, Roxane Gay, A A Gill and Martin Parr. 

Oh, and apparently you can still buy it from the New Statesman or the National Portrait Gallery shop.

Which is good news, if you want to see the world even more clearly.

Content from our partners
We need an urgent review of UK pensions
The future of private credit
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors