It’s all about what you do, not what you wear

Today the Daily Mail splashed on page 3 a piece about recently announced Paxman replacement, Newsnight anchor Evan Davis’ attire while walking his dog.

Seriously.  Does it really matter if he’s sporting ripped jeans?  Davis has proved himself time and again to be both a great journalist and 100% objective. 

Years ago, I did a piece with him when I was at Nickelodeon about the upcoming launch of the BBC’s digital kids channels and what it would mean for commercial broadcasters such as ourselves.  He understood the issues, challenged us on certain parts of our argument and produced a very fair and well received piece that aired on Newsnight.

Did it matter that he had tattoos?  No.  Did it matter that he might have ‘very intimate’ body piercings?  No.  He turned up to our studios in a shirt and trousers, and was a pleasure to deal with throughout. 

I wouldn’t have minded if he had arrived in his ‘low slung gangsta rapper’ (© Daily Mail) jeans.  In fact, at a kids TV channel he might have looked more at home.

I really don’t understand why our media is fascinated with the appearance of people in their private lives.  Davis has not courted the media for attention, he is simply good at what he does.  But his private persona and ‘look’ doesn’t fit into the box that mainstream media would like to put him in.

Shock horror.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that with certain jobs come certain aesthetic expectations, but outside of the 9-5 – or whatever hours our work has us keep – should it matter what we wear and do (as long as we are not breaking the law)?  I think not.

Nick Southall is Associate Director at All about the Idea, leading the Consumer Communications team. He does have tattoos. He also wears Converse. He’s a drummer, duh. You can find him expressing other opinions here.


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