"The trouble is that the BBC now is run by women and it shows: soap operas, cooking, quizzes, kitchen-sink plays. You wouldn't have had that in the golden days," he said. "I would like to see two independent wavelengths - one controlled by women, and one for us, controlled by men. I think it may eventually happen."
The TV veteran also said he would "rather be dead in a ditch" than appear on Celebrity Big Brother, and likened EastEnders to diarrhoea. "I used to watch Doctor Who and Star Trek, but they went PC - making women commanders, that kind of thing. I stopped watching."
No doubt he'll be crucified as a chauvinist - but he has a point. Television drama in particular has suffered over the last ten or fifteen years. Series like The Bill and Casualty were once sturdy, realistic and plot-driven, but ten years ago started degenerating into lowbrow soap. The cast, once real actors who actually looked like real people, have been replaced by young, attractive models-turned-actors, who bring no depth or realism to their roles.
The problem is one that effects British television in particular, where television is shaped by soulless focus groups - and the women in high places who want more "human interest" (i.e. soap) and for long-running series to appeal to women. There isn't a single drama series on British television that isn't blighted by "love schmuck." Romance, feelings and endless soul-searching is the order of the day.
US television seems to have largely escaped the scourge of needy women - uncompromising meaty drama flourishes there. Series like The Wire, The Sopranos, The Shield, and Law & Order are all well-crafted, gritty shows that don't dwell on tedious girls-night-in issues. But there are exceptions - Grey's Anatomy has had me reaching for a vomit-bag (the female-angst soundtrack doesn't help) but such shows are aimed at a female audience. The grown-ups amongst us can watch The Wire instead.
Sir Patrick's comments won't be well-received, because in today's beige politically correct environment, no one will have the balls to admit the truth: women are bad for television.