herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

My male colleagues tucked mic into my bikini-- Kathryn

Kathryn Thomas says she had to quickly lose her inhibitions on No Frontiers when male colleagues would tuck microphones into "the smallest of bikinis".

The RTE star says women have to develop a thick skin in the media industry but feels the Sky Sports incident crossed the line.

"Having worked in a male-dominated industry for so long, I have to say I'm torn," she said.

"I've had to have a microphone tucked into the smallest of bikinis. But when I'm on the road with the crew, we've had craic down through the years," she added.

"There have been comments thrown here and there, but it's okay because you know there is a level of trust and respect for you."

And Kathryn also said that she wouldn't be insulted if someone called her a "looker"

"I'd be delighted. I wouldn't take offence, I'd take it as a compliment," she said.

"I would (take offence) if someone were to challenge my ability to do my job without seeing me do it."

Kathryn said that banter between male and female colleagues was normal, but that the comments made by Sky Sports Andy Gray and Richard Keys went over the line.

Comments by the Sky Sports presenters about assistant referee Sian Massey sparked a furore which led to Gray being sacked and Keys quitting.

Gray was fired after two further tapes emerged of him making sexist comments where he asked co-presenter Charlotte Jackson to tuck a microphone into his trousers.

Kathryn (32) said that the female referee who was drawn into the furore could now be analysed even more.

"The one I feel sorry for in all of this is Sian Massey," she said.

"She was pulled out of her match and I wonder will she be remembered as 'your wan who got the two lads fired'?



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"You're under enough pressure as it is."

And the Operation Transformation frontwoman said that the whole sexism debate threw up other questions about when it was appropriate for women to make comments about men.

"I was watching Loose Women the other day and they were being quite suggestive towards a male guest," she said.

"They were talking about things like 'his manhood'. But they weren't pulled up about it.

"But you have to look at the two cases and see that there are similarities."

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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