‘Can’t think of a female job that’s safer’
TWO of the walk-on girls who were axed by the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) have hit out at the decision to ditch them, describing how they "can't think of a female job that's more safe".
They also denied that they have ever been subjected to sexual harassment, The Sun reports.
The Sun revealed how PDC bosses have decided to scrap the fan favourites from the sport.
The models have accompanied players to the oche for more than two decades.
The girls claim bosses were caving in to pressure following the Dorchester hostess scandal in which an undercover reporter claimed she was groped at a men-only charity event in London.
Two of those affected, Charlotte Wood and Daniella Allfree, appeared on British breakfast TV program This Morning to speak of their shock at the decision.
Speaking to hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, Allfree said: "We're nine per cent of the advertising, we wear a sash with the logo of the sponsor of the tournament.
"It just brings a bit of glitz and glamour to an event that's predominantly male.
"I can't think of a female job that's more safe. We've got four big security guards with us constantly, it's such a safe environment.
"It's scary really where it's going to lead this industry. We do a lot of sport, we do the horse racing, F1 grid - which for me is such a prestigious job.
"I'm really proud and it's very sad to see what's going to come for the next generation."
And Wood added: "It's a very enjoyable job and we feel very honoured to do the job."
But fellow This Morning guest, journalist Sally Howard, described the job as "demeaning" and was pleased "change" was happening.
She said: "What we are seeing is a broader social change that sees these roles as - if not demeaning to the individual, because this is an argument that it's a choice of some of these ladies - it's demeaning broadly to women.
"This is a structural change we are seeing with the Grammys, and I think Formula One will come.
"I think the key here is that it's a sort of decorative role that's making money for men.
"And you have to remember that this tradition has only been there since the 1990s. It's no kind of old tradition, it only came about when the PDC was trying to set itself up saying they were going to do something loaded, quite sensationalist.
"Every social change has people who suffer from it. But it doesn't mean that the change is not necessary.
"It's fans who also support this, not just resisting it. Fans and broadcasters are behind this."
Chiefs at the Professional Darts Corporation told those walk-on girls hired for the televised Masters tournament not to show up.
A PDC spokesperson said: "This move has been made following feedback from host broadcasters."
British TV network Sky said it felt, in conjunction with the PDC, that it was time to axe the girls in 2018.
Karen-Jean Cookson, 46, the first ever walk-on girl in 1994, said: "It's political correctness gone mad."
Over 23,000 darts fans have how signed a petition to have walk-on girls return to darts.
- London Sun