Wednesday, February 3, 2016


The BBC's Bridget Kendall is the latest media maven to make it as Master of an Oxbridge College. She's heading to Peterhouse, Cambridge (BBC Newsgathering boss Jonathan Munro, from the redbricks of Nottingham, has probably been told by now that adding College in his promulgation is wrong).

Applications closed in May last year. Bridget gets the run of the 1727 three-storey Master's Lodge just across Trumpington Street from the main college buildings, a sensible distance from the low throb of the Friday night discos in the college bar. The main rooms were refurbished in 1994, and it has generous gardens at the rear, with two large Western Red Cedars, and a Black Locust tree.

Peterhouse is the oldest Cambridge College, and the penultimate to admit women, in 1985. It's one of the smallest, yet amongst the richest in terms of endowments.

Bridget's appointment was welcomed by the student body's LGBT+ rep, Julian Sutcliffe (one quarter of the Peterhouse University Challenge team 2015) who said he was excited "to see the historic election of an LGBT+ woman, and hope this will do a lot to help change the college’s reputation as conservative and stuck in the past”.  The college didn't run the rainbow flag up the pole to mark the start of LGBT History Month on Monday; Selwyn College, where Bridget's former BBC colleague Roger Mosey is Master, did, as did Peterhouse's neighbours, Pembroke College, where former Labour Culture Secretary Chris Smith is now installed as Master. 

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