Joan Bakewell slams cancel culture: ‘People feel they need protection from being offended’

Dame Joan Bakewell talking about Harold Pinter

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Dame Joan Bakewell is currently hosting Portrait Artist of the Year on Sky alongside Stephen Mangan. However, in a recent interview with, she opened up about cancel culture, as well as how people are often hoping to be shielded from being offended.

Joan has been a staple of broadcasting and political life since she first joined the BBC back in the 1960s.

However, speaking about her longevity in the public eye, the broadcaster admitted times have changed since she was younger.

In regards to freedom of speech, Joan opened up about how she feels about television shows being given warnings and cancel culture.

She said: “Well, it’s changed. It constantly surprises me how people are offended by things and feel that they should be protected from being offended.

“I think it’s quite good that sometimes you speak out about things you don’t like, even if it does affect people.

“So I don’t think you could protect people from being offended.

“And I think the impulse to do it, so that nobody gets insulted or abused – and I’m not talking about sexual abuse, obviously that’s against the law – but it seems now people are very touchy.”

Joan went on to add how important it is in political spheres to have your views challenged.

She has been a member of the House of Lords since 2011 and this has been a key part of her political life.

She added: “It’s quite interesting and it’s important in political life, for example.

“One of the things about the House of Lords is that we’re much more friendly with each other.

“Even with people whose opinions we disagree with entirely, we don’t shout and rattle around.

“We’re quite friendly with people because I believe that it is only by being amiable and on good terms with people, that you can begin to solve problems together.

“Otherwise, if you dig your heels in and say, ‘No, no, we’re not conceding that or you could get lost, you’re wrong.’

“I can’t stand the way some of the Cabinet shouts, it’s outrageous.”

As well as her role on Portrait Artist of the Year, Joan has also recently written a book.

Called The Tick of Two Clocks, the memoir sees her reflecting on downsizing.

Full of mediations of growing older, she documents moving from the home she lived in for 50 years to a bungalow.

She said: “It’s a reflection of two periods in one’s life, moving from one house to another.

“It’s very appropriate now that they’re discussing social care because a lot of older people are living in big houses with children grown up and left.

“So they’re alone, if they’re widowed, in a big house with a garden.”

The Tick of Two Clocks: A Tale of Moving On by Joan Bakewell is available to buy now. £16.99, published by Hachette UK.

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