Sophy Ridge

Sophy Ridge, the woman changing on-screen politics

On election night in October 1974, the BBC’s anchorman, Alastair Burnet, announced a “welcome new addition” to the presenting team, Sue Lawley.

At least part of the reason for her welcome was that she was the first woman to play an on-screen role in a British election results studio.

Things have moved on, if not at breakneck speed. Emily Maitlis was again booked to be on the BBC’s set on 8 June. And, for the first time, a woman, Mishal Husain, was to play the Robin Day/Jeremy Paxman inquisitor role.

On ITV, Julie Etchingham was due to anchor – but only on day two.