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TV presenter seeks end to ageism

TV presenter seeks end to ageism

TV presenter Miriam O'Reilly is hoping her successful stand against the BBC will help to eradicate age discrimination in the workplace.

The 53-year-old won an age discrimination case against the corporation after she was axed from Countryfile when it was moved to a prime-time slot. She had worked on the programme for eight years as a freelance.

The tribunal also heard three other female Countryfile presenters aged over 40 – Michaela Strachan, 42, Juliet Morris, 45, and Charlotte Smith, 44 – were also dropped.

Ms O'Reilly said: "It was hard to take on the BBC because I love the BBC and I loved working there.

"I think it is one of the best broadcast organisations in the world but I felt that I was treated badly because of my age."

She said there was a "long way" to go with ageism in the visual media, not just at the BBC.

In its judgment, the tribunal said the BBC had subjected Ms O'Reilly to direct age discrimination and age victimisation.

Former BBC One controller Jay Hunt described claims that Ms O'Reilly and the three other women were dropped from the show because she "hated women" as "entirely and categorically untrue".

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