10 January 2013
John McCririck suing Channel 4 for £3m for age discrimination
John McCririck is seeking compensation of £3 million from Channel 4 on the grounds of age discrimination, it has emerged.
The racing pundit has insisted the broadcaster sacked him last year "without any consultation" after deciding to revamp its coverage of horse racing with Clare Balding heading up its new presenting team.
In a statement issued yesterday (January 9th), McCririck - who has carved out a career as a media personality by appearing on reality shows such as Celebrity Big Brother and Wife Swap - said he has suffered "stress and mental anguish" since losing his job.
The 72-year-old claims that despite the fact he worked for Channel 4 on a rolling contract basis for 29 years, he was fired without receiving a "cogent explanation".
"For the loss of future earnings, future earnings, unfair career damaging, public humiliation, stress and mental anguish, I will be seeking £500,000," he explained.
McCririck is also pursuing a further punitive sum of £2.5 million, part of which he plans to donate to charities and organisations that work to "prevent negative prejudice" in the professional environment.
"Ageism is illegal. For tens of thousands of employees it has become the feared scourge of our society. This litigation should prove to be a watershed," he added.
The presenter went on to say that his legal action will not be pleasant, as some of the "vitriol" it creates is "bound to stick and further threaten my future prospects", although he insisted suing is the correct course of action to take as it should motivate people who live in fear of being "unjustly axed".
In response to McCririck's litigation, Channel 4 said that while it is "grateful" for the professional's contribution to its racing coverage over the course of many years, it rejects the suggestion that his age played any part in the decision not to renew his freelance contract.
"We will be vigorously defending this claim," the broadcaster added.
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Posted by Chris Stevenson