Sam Fraser talks about her book ‘Scorchio!’
BBC star Sam Fraser has opened up about the fetishisation of the term “weather girl”.
The accomplished broadcaster, who describes herself as “presenter, writer, comedian, time waster” on her Instagram profile, admits she got a shock when she first stepped in as a standby weather presenter on BBC South in 2012.
“I had no idea that, within a fortnight of my first appearance, my bottom would have an online fan club and I’d feature on a social media channel entitled Babes of Britain.
“At first, I’ll admit, I was flattered…but a little dive into the discussions about me – my chubby arms, muscular calves and other anatomical observations – soon put paid to that.
“Until then, I hadn’t understood quite how fetishised the ‘weather girl’ had become,” she told this week’s Radio Times.
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Acknowledging that social media has made the fascination with these women much worse, she implores people not to look up the term “weather girl” because when she did, it took her to places on the internet that she had previously been oblivious to.
“As long as the term is in use, it contributes to a culture of permission to demean, humiliate and objectify,” she says.
Sam feels so strongly about it that she tried to explore the term in a comedy show, which she took to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018, called Stand Up, Weather Girl!
She is further analysing the phrase in her new Radio 4 documentary, Scorchio! The Story of the Weather Girl.
The title refers to a phrase used by a character played by the late Caroline Aherne in The Fast Show In the 1990s.
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The character Poula Fisch, was the personification of the public perception of the weather girl – a smiling empty-headed “dolly filler” at the end of a news programme set in a fictionalised country.
Last year, Sam crowdfunded to publish her book, Scorchio! Surviving a Stereotype, which charts her journey from teenage years to arriving unexpectedly at the BBC.
Featuring contributions from other women who have held the mantle of “weather girl” it takes the premise of her show and expands on it.
It is described as “a comic memoir about the conflict between an aspiration for equality and the realities of working in a sexualised role.”
You can read Sam Fraser’s full interivew in this week’s Radio Times. Scorchio! The Story of The Weather girl is on BBC Radio 4 at 11am on November 22.
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