Sour grapes over ‘Sweetie’ nod

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The BBC has defended its decision to place Edinburgh Zoo panda “Sweetie” among the 12 women in its Faces of 2011 list.

Sweetie, also known as Tian Tian, joins other notable names including shot US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, but yesterday criticisms were made over the choice.

This followed the BBC coming under fire last month after its shortlist for the Sports Personality of the Year award did not include any women.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “Including Sweetie as one of the annual headline makers was a light-hearted addition to the list, and this isn’t the first time it has featured a non-human. In 2009, Benson the Carp, a much-caught giant fish, was August’s entry on the male list and last year Peppa the Pig was on the female list for April.”