Lovely piece by Professor Mary Beard, responding to the sneering of the Sunday Times‘s TV ‘critic’, one A.A. Gill, who focussed on her appearance rather than on her TV programmes, Meet the Romans.
So what of my revenge?
First, I’d like to invite him to a tutorial in my study at Cambridge and ask him to justify and substantiate his opinions. We could talk them through. Possibly then he would learn a little about the crass assumptions he’s making and why they don’t amount to anything more.
Next, for my Roman-style revenge on Gill, I’d force him to watch each of my programmes from start to finish. And to ensure he did so with appropriate diligence, I’d ask Clare [Balding — a BBC sports commentator who has also been abused by Gill on account of her appearance] to be on hand to enforce the penalty.
And as Gill is also a food critic —and I’m certain there is a veritable battalion of angry chefs and restaurateurs who would gladly volunteer to help with this bit — I’d force-feed him, like a goose destined for pate de foie gras, his least favourite dishes, while he sat and learned about the Romans.
And then we’d talk about them — and I mean about their substance, not just about my lack of lipgloss.
According to Wikipedia, Gill is a “recovered alcoholic” and has acute dyslexia, which means that all his ‘writing’ is dictated. I’d often wondered if this might explain his curious style.