15 June 2010
Age discrimination claims made by TV presenter
A former Countryfile presenter is taking the BBC to a tribunal later this year on claims of age discrimination.
Last year, in a bid to refresh their rural affairs programming, the broadcasting giant shifted Countryfile from a Sunday morning slot to primetime evening and cut four of its five presenters along the way.
Mirian O'Reilly, one of the show's axed hosts, has decided take the BBC to an employment tribunal in November despite the risk to her career.
She believes she was dismissed on grounds of her age.
Controversially, all the sacked presenters were women in their 40s and 50s, while 69 year old John Craven, a Countryfile veteran, stayed with the show as it moved to a more prominent place in the scheduling.
The BBC, which runs eight national TV channels as well as regional programmes and 50 radio stations, has seen an increase in the number of sex and age discrimination cases against it in the last two years.
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