BBC is forcing brilliant broadcasters off air with ageist attitude, warn campaigners



There is now alarm that a toxic combination of ageism and sexism “prematurely ends” the careers of older stars and leads to an “unbalanced portrayal of the world”. Broadcaster Vanessa Feltz, 60, made headlines last week when she claimed older presenters are “not valued in the same way”.

Ms Feltz – who announced in July she was leaving her two BBC radio programmes – said she did not feel appreciated due to her age.

In September, Radio 2’s Steve Wright in the Afternoon programme came to an end after 23 years with the 68-year-old star at the helm.

And writing in today’s Sunday Express, broadcaster Liz Kershaw, 64, says that in the BBC it is considered “OK to ‘retire’ someone just because they’re getting on a bit”.

She said: “With record audience figures for my BBC 6 Music show and heaps of praise from on high, I was called in and culled by our new boss just a month after my 62nd birthday.”

The comments come as Ken Bruce, 71, quit his popular Radio 2 mid-morning show after 31 years.

After saying it is “time for a change” he will join Greatest Hits Radio. He stressed it was “entirely” his own decision to go”. But Liz claims Ken “was informed he was no longer wanted on peak time weekday radio at the same time that Wrighty was”.

Caroline Abrahams, of pensioner charity Age UK is among those calling for an end to ageism.

She said: “It seems in some walks of life, ageism – sometimes in combination with sexism – prematurely ends the careers of some extremely talented older people.

“This is not only a shame for them but for the rest of us too, because it leads to an unbalanced portrayal of the world we live in.”

Eamonn Donaghy, a spokesman for Later Life Ambitions, added: “Having older role models on television and radio is crucial in ensuring intergenerational fairness, and any accusations of age discrimination must be taken seriously.”

But a BBC spokeswoman said: “Representation of people at all ages has increased significantly in the last decade across the BBC.

“Regarding Radio 2, we are hugely proud of having a range of presenters from their 30s to 80 years old on
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