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.