Kate has no opinions on anything: BBC presenter Sandi Toksvig hits out at Duchess of Cambridge for being 'very Jane Austen'
Sandi Toksvig, 54, compared Kate to female characters of Jane Austen
But Toksvig praises singer Cheryl Cole for 'still saying what she thinks'

Mark Duell


16:45 GMT, 10 March 2013



23:28 GMT, 10 March 2013

The Duchess of Cambridge does not hold a ‘single opinion’, according to Radio 4 presenter Sandi Toksvig.

The 54-year-old comedienne compared Kate to the female characters of Jane Austen, who were unable to express themselves publicly because of 19th century attitudes towards women.

The presenter, who hosts The News Quiz, said: ‘Kate Middleton is not enough for me.

Sandi Toksvig

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge

Criticism: Comic Sandi Toksvig (left) hit out at the Duchess of Cambridge (right) for not holding 'a single opinion'

‘We used to admire women who got their
place in life through marriage and having children, but I like to think
we’ve grown up a bit.

‘I can’t think of a single opinion she holds – it’s very Jane Austen.’

Author: Miss Toksvig compared Kate to the society chronicled by Jane Austen (pictured), when women were known only for the identity of their husbands

Author: Miss Toksvig compared Kate to the society chronicled by Jane Austen (pictured), when women were known only for the identity of their husbands

In an interview, the comic also
contrasted Kate with the singer Cheryl Cole, 29, who she described as
‘one of the few incredibly famous people who still seems to say what
they think’. The lesbian mother of three added: ‘I do fancy her quite a

Miss Toksvig’s comments follow those
of bestselling author Hilary Mantel, who described Kate, 31, as a
personality-free ‘shop window mannequin’ with a ‘plastic smile’.

She compared Kate unfavourably to both
Anne Boleyn – one of her historical heroines who features in her novel
Bring Up The Bodies – and to Princess Diana, insisting both had more

The Man Booker Prize-winning novelist also dismissed Kate as a ‘machine-made’ princess who had been ‘designed by committee’.

But last week Miss Mantel defended her
comments, saying her words had been misinterpreted and insisting she
had ‘absolutely nothing to apologise for’.

‘It was a matter of taking the words
completely out of context – twisting the context – and setting me up as a
hate figure,’ she argued.

Miss Toksvig recently made more waves
when she claimed that she was once overlooked for the role of
presenting the BBC’s Have I Got News For You – for which Angus Deayton
was chosen – because she is a woman.

Cheryl Cole

Hilary Mantel

Comments: Miss Toksvig compared Kate to Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole (left), 29, whom she praised for 'still saying what she thinks'. Her words came after criticism of Kate by author Hilary Mantel (right) last month

She said in an interview: ‘They said,
“We liked yours [performance] better, Sandi, but we can’t possibly have a
woman in charge of the news”.’

In the wake of the Jimmy Savile
scandal, the comedienne revealed in October that she had been groped on
air by a ‘famous individual’ 30 years ago.

She declined to name the celebrity but said that when she told other staff what had happened they thought it was funny.

The Radio 4 presenter said the claims about Savile came as no surprise to her.

‘It wasn’t something anybody talked about. You just didn’t say anything,’ she added.