Janet Street-Porter let one of her staff keep their baby in a box when she was at the BBC, because they were so desperate to come back to work.
The broadcaster, who was head of youth and entertainment features, admitted it sounded like something out of the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, but said it worked out “fine”.
She said: “Years ago someone who was a key member of my team was pregnant and wanted to return to work quickly because she liked her job. I let her bring – probably breaking all the health and safety laws – her baby into the office in a box. We had baby in a box in the corner of the office.
“When they are little and they are tadpole size, they can’t get out. It’s fine, isn’t it?”
Her co-host, Lisa Maxwell, said childcare had been “an issue” while she was working long hours on police drama The Bill.
She said: “All the actresses got together and tried to get a creche. We did everything we could. We offered to put money in but in the end it was too expensive.”