ITV’s political editor admitted during an interview he feels lucky to have his job in television before people noticed the “terrible” discrimination against women and people of colour. Mr Peston then said: “Everyone else [working on Peston] is a woman or person of colour. It is the best team I have ever worked with… I am astonishingly fortunate to do what I do.”
Speaking to BBC podcast Fortunately…, Mr Peston told hosts Fi Glover and Jane Garvey he was “lucky” to have gotten into TV before ITV made a push to higher more women and and PoC’s.
He said on the programme: “My great uncle used to say ‘Every day that I wake up is a bonus’, and quite often I think, ‘Every day I keep my show as a white, middle-class male is a bonus’.
“I wonder, truthfully, if I were 30 whether all sorts of doors that were open to me then would be open to me today, because the competition is much more intense.
“We are looking for different things and we are looking for different voices, and that’s a really good thing.”
Speaking to BBC podcast Fortunately…, Mr Peston told hosts Fi Glover and Jane Garvey he might lose his job if “people think I am not there on merit”.
He added: “Everyone else [working on Peston] is a woman or person of colour.
It is the best team I have ever worked with. They are phenomenally bright, creative and [it is] just a transformed working environment for the better.
“I am astonishingly fortunate to do what I do. As soon as people think I am not there on merit, I guess I’ll have to go.”
In July 2020, ITV launched its Diversity Acceleration Plan to accelerate change at the station.
It had five commitments: Increasing diversity on ITV’s Management Board and senior leadership teams; Commissioning to ensure ITV better represents contemporary British life on-screen within the next 12 months; Improving diversity and career progression in TV production; Taking positive action on recruitment of a diverse team at entry level as well as at middle and senior leadership levels, and educating and developing ourselves so everyone understands
By July 2021, ITV had increased number of lead roles featuring Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) talent by 33 percent, as well as having 34 percent of lead roles in new commissions that have aired on TV since July 2020 have been filled by BAME talent.
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