For one man, it was a moment to be treasured. The comedian Andy Hamilton saw a longterm ambition come to fruition when the ex- Chelsea footballer Ron "Chopper" Harris made an appearance on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour on Friday.
Asking a man to present Woman's Hour for Comic Relief was a jolly enough idea (if not a new one - Jon Snow hosted Man's Hour in 2005), and far be it from me to detract from anything done in the name of charity, but Hamilton completely failed to be funny.
His first bright idea was to invite ventriloquists on to the radio. For obvious reasons, this has not been done before and probably should not be attempted again. Nina Conti's struggle to make her dummy Monkey recite a tongue-twister was lost on listeners.
A debate about whether women can make good football referees - the vehicle for Chopper's Woman's Hour debut - was more entertaining. Both he and the Daily Express sportswriter Harry Harris voiced pretty unreconstructed views on the subject. But, reassuringly, when Hamilton visited a south-London football ground to ask a team of young male players how they would feel if a woman refereed their match, to a man they replied that it wouldn't make the slightest difference.
Men such as Hamilton appear to view Woman's Hour as a bit of a joke. Even Martha Kearney, co-presenting Friday's programme, mockingly apologised for usually starting the show by introducing items on PMT and jam-making. So, how does the 60-year-old programme shape up? It certainly excels at telling the stories of inspiring women. This week's subjects included Caroline Herschel, a German emigre in London who had no formal education but became skilled at spotting new comets after her astronomer brother denied her pudding if she failed to calculate the correct angles of stars.
The programme is also capable of powerful reportage. …