From Dame to Baroness

Lord Norton

In a post on my blog a couple of years ago, I drew attention to the fact that some Baronesses who previously had been made Dames were still referred to on occasion by the BBC as Dames.  Baroness Grey-Thompson, for example, was sometimes referred to as ‘Dame Tanni’ – this some years after her elevation to the peerage.  This sadly also happened at the weekend following the death of Baroness Jowell.  Despite the BBC showing clips of her introduction to the House of Lords and of her moving speech in the House in January, they referred to her as ‘Dame Tessa Jowell’.  She was also referred to as such throughout the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.  She was Dame Tessa in the period between 2012, when she was made DBE, and 2015, when she was elevated to the peerage.  She then became Baroness Jowell.

I did report the error to the BBC News Online website and they have now corrected their reports, referring to her by her correct title.  As I noted in my original post, it is not clear that the BBC appreciate the difference. As I also mentioned, I am not sure it is a mistake that would be made in referring to a male peer who was previously a knight.  Clearly, some missive needs to go round the BBC to ensure that there is no repetition.

4 comments for “From Dame to Baroness

  1. Alex Folkes
    14/05/2018 at 7:05 pm

    Is this not a worthy time to mention the comment of the late Conrad Russell talking about Elspeth Howe who was, over time, the wife of a knight, the wife of a peer and a baroness in her own right – “Once, twice, three times a lady”

  2. 14/05/2018 at 7:33 pm

    I thought it may be because they wanted to use her full name including her first name in reports. I don’t think it was only the BBC, either. It’s certainly better than “Baroness Tessa Jowell”. I would have preferred simply “Tessa Jowell” and then “Baroness Jowell” thereafter. I always notice the one the BBC always get spot on is the name of their Director-General.

    Anyway, I was sad to hear of the loss of Baroness Jowell. 70 is no age to go for anyone; I hope her campaigning in the last year of her life makes a lasting difference.

  3. 15/05/2018 at 3:18 pm

    Very well; Lord Norton, the BBC is quite evidently “remiss” there.

    However, a propos the BBC’s much wider and “survival-vital”
    “fitnesses-for-many-&-various-other-purposes” –

    it strikes me as being more serious and of much higher priority
    that the BBC,
    being the only medium that can deliver video-visual all-round-information and generic-education to the Lifeplace-Public
    should launch a channel 24/7 devoted to screening advances and “neglects”, in Individual Human Development,

    and should therein deliver educational-demonstrations
    of hitherto neglected and excluded advances.
    Demonstrations of
    Non-Adversary Cooperative Problem Solving –

    ‘Self, Lifestyle, and Civilisation Co-Sustainworthying’ Enablements;
    purely lifeplace, individual-&-mutual educational oeuvres in

    ‘Holistic-Health, Wellness-&-Sustainworthy-Lifestyle Building’ .

    Eminently “civilisation-foundations-improvingly”
    the BBC could and should include single demonstrational videos, and also “short-courses”, in
    “The Method lll ‘No-Lose’ Needs-&-Hows Recognition and Cooperative Problem Solving” ;
    in “Improving both ‘lifeplace-social & interpersonal’ and ‘participatively- democratic’ – communication
    by demonstrating the
    “13 Roadblocks to Human Communication and how to overcome them”

    Both of these human-development advances could be had from “People Skills” by Robert Bolton;
    But we also nee to be able to see it happening, to ‘witness’ its do-ability.
    Such a virtually “human-civilisation-constitutional foundations-advance” would also tend to ensure that
    as well as comprehensive governance and lifeplace clarity-of-communication and constructivity rising,

    mis-identifications and mis-reportings of peers, dames, and knights, would no longer occur either.

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