• Emily Prescott

The Londoner: Victoria Coren Mitchell: I was dealt unwanted hands


Poker player: Victoria Coren Mitchell (Photo credit: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images) ( UK Press via Getty Images )

Victoria Coren Mitchell, journalist and game-show host, has revealed how she deals with sexual innuendo and groping in her work as a poker player.


Coren Mitchell was the guest speaker at woman’s network The Number One Club last night, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary at an event in Barbican, and stated that she has been forced to deal with the unwelcome advances of men in the poker industry.

 

“I never figured out a way to deal with a hand up the skirt,” she remarked.


“I never found a graceful way to deal with that. It happens a lot less now because there are younger players and they behave differently and there are cameras in the room but if somebody touched me, I usually just went home.”


“[With] belittling and demeaning comments, I would usually take the mickey out of the person in a way that nobody else understands but that I’m happy with, and then take all their money, but the physical stuff, I never figured out a way to deal with.” 


Coren Mitchell won the European Poker tour twice and has accrued official lifetime tournament winnings of more than £1.5 million.


Throughout her poker career, she told the room of high-profile professionals she found being underestimated “weirdly profitable” and she undermined sexist prejudices by winning money. 


She added that she considers herself an expert on sexism because “all women are”, before praising the network for its positive and supportive approach — it offers social support, mentoring and advice on unconscious bias. “Let’s focus on what’s important in all this,” Coren Mitchell joked. 


“Side boob. Whole boobs are everywhere so they’ve lost their cachet — people just aren’t interested — but a coy glimpse of the breast is fascinating. 


“A slight suggestion of breast is a perfect metaphor for women in  business.” 


After speaking about her career, she asked: “Isn’t anybody going to ask if David Mitchell is funny at home?” She was referring to her husband, the comedian and star of Peep Show.


Read the full Evening Standard article: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/londoners-diary/the-londoner-victoria-coren-mitchell-i-was-dealt-unwanted-hands-a3947386.html

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