Matt Baker: The One Show host warns viewers ‘don’t blame them’ after snooker row mix-up

Matt Baker, 41, had to clear up a spot of confusion that took place following a controversial story on BBC’s The One Show. The presenter stepped in to clarify the issue last night, which initially arose after the programme interviewed a female snooker player. Rebecca Kenna appeared on the show to explain her negative experience with a particular snooker club in Yorkshire that refused to let her play because she is a woman. As a result of the contentious nature of the issue, Matt had to deliver an update to viewers who may have been angered by the story.

He told fans: “Let’s have a quick update on the story about the female snooker player that we had on last night.

“The Grafton Club, which wouldn’t let her play, is the one in Keighley in Yorkshire.”

He added: “There are other clubs of the same name across the UK. Please don’t blame them!”

The host implied that the unfortunate coincidence could have potentially prompted viewers to direct their complaints about Rebecca’s situation to the wrong place.

The original segment, which aired on Monday, saw Chris Warburton interviewing the snooker player about the discrimination that she has suffered in the sport after being prevented from playing for two fixtures due to some clubs in Keighley operating a “men-only” policy.

Others praised The One Show for shining a light on the issue, enthusing: “Brilliant coverage to raise awareness of #womenssnooker Well done @BBCTheOneShow.

Ever since, Rebecca has been challenging her local snooker clubs to help instigate change.

She explained: “To be told you can’t play in a sport you love because of your gender is ridiculous.”

When the interview first aired, incensed viewers of The One Show took to Twitter to show their support for Rebecca’s plight.

One furious fan wrote: “This is so wrong, please name & shame the clubs involved.”

Another added: “Totally unfair! We’re in 2019! Such archaic sexist rules need to be challenged.”

Professional snooker player Mike Dunn also weighed in on the episode.

He commented: “Terrible decision not allowing women to play snooker in certain league clubs, the world’s moved on and all the toffee nosed snobs not allowing it should be ashamed!”

In response to the backlash, snooker league committee member Alan Speak said: “If we lose two of these clubs [with the men-only policies] we would lose four teams and we can’t afford to lose four teams otherwise we would have no league.”

The league also added: “there’s nothing we can do to overturn the decisions.”

Elsewhere, Matt has been open in championing other causes that are close to his heart on The One Show recently.

In response to a shocking clip created by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, the TV personality aired his views on littering: “I think it’s mad, that we have to pick up other people’s rubbish. Just pick it up in the first place so other folk won’t have to pick it up for you!”

The One Show airs weeknights at 7pm on BBC One.

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