Sorry, some women are too ugly for TV

I do have some sympathy with Ms Beard. I was recently the subject of worldwide condemnation for daring to express the view that I regard myself as an attractive woman. The hate mail and public ridicule I experienced is something I will never forget.

Yet, in my early 20s, I was urged by one of my bosses in TV to consider a career in front of the camera.

Even though I was as confident in my looks then as I am now, I declined, convinced that I would struggle to deal with the criticism of my figure and the constant assessment of my looks by beady-eyed TV executives.

Television is a medium where you must be prepared to do anything to get on, and it is a given that you pay meticulous attention to your physical appearance first and foremost.

I think that’s something Mary Beard should have thought about rather longer and harder than she did.