What to know about Carol Vorderman and Shaun Bailey's 'sexism' row

The former Tory mayoral candidate made comments about the TV star on GB News

CHELTENHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 15: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Carol Vorderman attends day 3 'St Patrick's Thursday' of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 15, 2018 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Carol Vorderman has thanked fans for their support. (Indigo/Getty Images)

Carol Vorderman has thanked fans for their support after accusing former Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey of making “sexist” remarks about her Instagram posts.

The Countdown star has been in the headlines after Bailey appeared to question her credibility as a political commentator because she also shared of “pictures of her bum and her boobs” on Instagram. His words sparked outrage and Vorderman has now said she’s had a lot of kind words.

“Thanks for all your amazing messages today,” she wrote on her Instagram Story. “I’m calling the Tories out, whether it’s for misogyny or corruption or just their endless lies to the public. And I’ll carry on calling them out.”

We have a look at what happened – and what people are saying.

Carol Vorderman thanked fans for their backing. (Carol Vorderman Instagram)
Carol Vorderman said she had some 'amazing' messages. (Carol Vorderman Instagram)

What was said?

Bailey made the comments during a discussion on GB News, where he appeared to question Vorderman’s credibility as a political commentator.

TV star Vorderman has shown she isn’t afraid to speak out, and has lambasted the Tories several times, using her social media to hold the government to account on things such as Partygate. She also shares snaps on Instagram from glam photo shoots, celeb events and of her working out or enjoying beach days.

However, Bailey – who was appointed to the House of Lords last year - sparked anger as he seemed to suggest she “can’t be both”.

Conservative's Shaun Bailey speaks after Labour's Sadiq Khan was declared as the next Mayor of London at City Hall, London. Picture date: Saturday May 8, 2021. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Shaun Bailey made the comments on GB News. (PA Images via Getty Images)

“Look, on one hand she’s got all that stuff on (X, formerly Twitter), you know, she’s a serious political commentator, and then if you look at her Instagram it’s all pictures of her bum and her boobs,” he said. “So what is it, here? She can’t be both.”

How did Vorderman respond?

Vorderman hasn’t taken the comments lying down, and the maths whizz has demanded an apology in a message on social media.

Accusing Bailey of being “sexist” and a “misogynist”, she also referred to him attending a 2020 “Jingle and Mingle” Christmas party.

“So Shaun thinks that women who wear Lycra in the gym shouldn't be allowed a political opinion.... or I assume a vote!” she posted. “Failed Mayoral candidate #SexistShaun was made a Lord last year. Yet another Tory honour for dishonour.”

In another post she said “Shaun 'Bum and Boobs' Bailey” was “part of the misogynistic culture”. “Shaun Bailey is in House of Lords,” she went on, saying he “shouldn't be”. “I think apologies are in order,” she added.

What have people said?

Bailey’s comments have triggered a backlash online, with some people calling his words “disgraceful”. “'You can’t be both’, what a pathetic comment,” one person remarked on Instagram. “He can't handle that you have all the qualities,” said someone else.

Another person asked: “Why do some men have such an issue with women having a voice? They’re intimidated that’s why.”

“So intelligent women have to look unattractive, that was the kind of misogynistic opinion I thought we'd left behind in the 1970s,” said another disgruntled fan.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Carol Vorderman attends the Pride of Britain Awards 2022 at Grosvenor House on October 24, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J. Hogan/Getty Images)
Carol Vorderman has had a lot of support. (Getty Images)

Vorderman’s fellow celebs have weighed in

Vorderman’s fellow stars also had plenty to say on the subject, with actor Gemma Atkinson dubbing the presenter a “triple threat” and writing on Instagram: “Tell him you can be both along with having an IQ of 154.”

Former Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley agreed Vorderman was a "triple threat” and wrote: “Nowhere near your level. Almost laughable?” Loose Women star Denise Welch didn’t hold back, writing: “What a f.......g a***hole!!!!”

Vorderman’s This Morning colleagues also weighed in on the ITV show. “Why can’t she be both… why can’t anyone be whatever they want to be?,” asked host Rylan, after a discussion about the story.

“She is both,” presenter Ashley James chimed in. And Rylan’s co-host Josie Gibson added: “She’s articulate, she’s beautiful and she’s strong and it just so happens she’s incredibly sexy at the same time, what is the problem with that?”

“I think it would be good to start focusing on what women say rather than how they look,” said James. “Absolutely,” said Rylan. “I completely agree with you and Carol, we love you.”

Sharing a clip of their chat, the TV star wrote: “TY for your support @ashleyljames. Love you too @Rylan @Josiestweet. Still waiting for an apology from & Shaun Bailey.”

Has Bailey responded?

Bailey has since said in a statement: “In a recent panel discussion, I used a clumsy form of words to describe Carol Vorderman’s Instagram posts.

“The point I was trying to make is Carol lives in a world of glitz and celebrity, as her Instagram portrays, but simultaneously demonises and bullies those who hold different political views to her own. I strongly support free speech. I don’t support bullying.”

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