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Marylebone Cricket Club stinks of privilege, says QI host Stephen Fry… who is the club’s former president

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Fresh from his triumph at getting women into the Garrick Club, Stephen Fry is turning his ire elsewhere.

The actor, 66, has attacked his former cricket club, saying it ‘stinks of privilege’.

The QI host said the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), of which he was president from 2022 to 2023, reeked of ‘classism’ and was filled with ‘beetroot-coloured’ men. 

He told the Hay Festival: ‘It has a public face that is deeply disturbing – sort of beetroot-coloured gentleman in yellow-and-orange blazers sitting in this space in front of the Long Room and looking as if they’d come out of an Edwardian cartoon.’ 

He added that the annual Eton versus Harrow public school match, which is traditionally hosted by the 237-year-old club at Lord’s Cricket Ground in north-west London, was a prime example of this privilege.

Stephen Fry (pictured) has attacked his former cricket club, saying it ¿stinks of privilege¿

Stephen Fry (pictured) has attacked his former cricket club, saying it ‘stinks of privilege’

The QI host said the Marylebone Cricket Club (pictured), of which he was president from 2022 to 2023, reeked of ¿classism¿ and was filled with ¿beetroot-coloured¿ men

The QI host said the Marylebone Cricket Club (pictured), of which he was president from 2022 to 2023, reeked of ‘classism’ and was filled with ‘beetroot-coloured’ men

Fry made the comments on a panel about diversity in the sport alongside cricketer Azeem Rafiq, who accused Yorkshire County Cricket Club of racism in 2020.

He said he felt ’embarrassed’ to be president of the MCC at that time, adding: ‘I’m the perfect example of the problem [as it] has been for hundreds of years – largely, fleshy, white Englishmen… that are running things.’

Earlier this month Fry threatened to quit the all-male Garrick Club unless members voted to admit women. 

The motion passed, meaning women – possibly including classicist Dame Mary Beard and broadcaster Cathy Newman – can join the 193-year-old institution.



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