Classicist Mary Beard has hit back at TV critic AA Gill, after he called her unattractive in his recent review of Meet The Romans With Mary Beard.

Gill complained that Mary’s teeth looked like they belonged to corpses (Picture: BBC)

AA Gill, who has made a habit of insulting people in his Sunday Times TV criticism column, branded Mary a ‘disaster’ in the looks department, claiming that her teeth, hair and dress sense were not suitable for television.

But now it’s Gill’s turn to come under criticism, after Beard hit back with a piece in the Daily Mail, calling the writer ‘an odious little twit’ and slamming his apparent inability to judge a woman on anything but her looks.

She wrote that the review was ‘a straight case of pandering to the blokeish culture that loves to decry clever women, especially ones who don’t succumb to the masochism of Botox and have no interest in dyeing their hair.

‘It’s a case of mistaking prejudice for being witty and provocative. And it’s very easy to find yourself thinking: “What an odious little twit!”‘, she added.

Gill had written about Beard in his weekly column after watching the first episode of Meet The Romans With Mary Beard, a BBC2 programme presented by the fellow as Newnham College, Cambridge.

AA Gill has been attacked by Twitter users for his comments (Picture: ES)

‘For someone who looks this closely at the past,’ he wrote, ‘it is strange she hasn’t had a closer look at herself before stepping in front of a camera.

‘Beard coos over corpses’ teeth without apparently noticing she is wearing them.‘From behind she is 16; from the front, 60. The hair is a disaster, the outfit an embarrassment.‘This isn’t sexist or beside the point. If you’re going to invite yourself into the front rooms of  the living, then you need to make an effort.’

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for Meet The Romans here

Twitter users have joined in their support of Mary, with fans calling AA Gill a ‘bully’ and branding his column ‘sexist, ageist nonsense’.

After Gill called BBC presenter Clare Balding, who is openly gay, a ‘dyke on a bike’ last year, she took to Twitter to say: ‘I like to think he’s intimidated by us. Sad, really, that he’s incapable of assessing women in an intelligent manner.’

Meet The Romans With Mary Beard continues tonight at 9pm on BBC2.

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