There’s nothing like a dame…

untitledOn the BBC Today programme this morning, Baroness Grey-Thompson was interviewed about this year’s Paralympic Games, but she was referred to throughout as Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.   This is not the first time a Baroness has been referred to as Dame.  It has happened before with Baroness Grey-Thompson and with Baronesses Bakewell and Neville-Jones.  They were dames before they were ennobled, and it is always possible that the interviewers are not aware of their elevation to the peerage.  (Somewhat odd if that is the case given that it is six years since Tanni Grey-Thompson joined the Lords.)  Either that, or some presenters at the BBC simply don’t know the difference between a Dame and a Baroness.

I have never noticed a peer who was previously a knight being referred to as Sir.

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About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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2 Responses to There’s nothing like a dame…

  1. Jonathan says:

    Is this not because the interviewer wants to introduce her by her first name, but knows it is wrong to say “Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson”? I would prefer to hear her referred to as Dame, rather than that incorrect form. A better solution is to introduce her by her full name without a title, then “Baroness Grey-Thompson after that”. The BBC do seem to have problems with peerage titles, the exception being their DG who is always Tony Hall at first mention then Lord Hall thereafter. I guess presenters and journalists have special guidance on that!

  2. Croft says:

    About the only place that is every accurate on the BBC is the parliament channel. The rest of the presenters are almost always wrong in some way or another. Doesn’t help that some peers ‘deliberately’ (Opinion Lord N?) encourage misuse of their titles to a form they like/prefer/mistakenly believe….

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