Racing pundit John McCririck has lost his age discrimination employment tribunal case against Channel 4.
The 73-year-old argued that he was sacked by the broadcaster because of his age.
McCririck said he was dumped from his high-profile role on Channel 4 Racing by “anonymous suits and skirts” as part of a drive to hire younger faces, but a Central London Employment Tribunal panel ruled against him, McCririck told the Press Association.
The pundit took his former employer and TV production company IMG Media Limited to the tribunal, alleging his sacking last year was motivated by age discrimination. Both firms denied discrimination in the �3 million case.
McCririck said: “This is an historic setback for all employees in their 30s to their 70s.
“After such a landmark judicial verdict, my failed legal action ensures that anonymous suits and skirts, who control the media, numerous other businesses and the public sector, will now enjoy complete freedom to replace older employees whatever their unimpaired ability and merit.
“I have let them all down along with my wife, the Booby, my legal team, friends, colleagues and countless members of the public who supported me throughout. My grateful thanks and apologies to every one of them.
“Former Labour home secretary David Blunkett MP said in August: ‘The way TV executives worship the cult of youth seems to be an unstoppable fetish’. It is now.
“With my legal team we are now out of contact while studying the judgment in detail. It is on the Central London Employment Tribunal website.”
An IMG spokesman said: “IMG is pleased that the tribunal’s unanimous decision has recognised that age discrimination played no part in the decision not to include John McCririck in the Channel 4 Racing team from 2013.”
A Channel 4 spokesman said: “We welcome the unanimous verdict of the tribunal that John McCririck’s claim fails and that Channel 4 did not discriminate on the basis of age.
“We are grateful to John for his contribution towards Channel 4′s racing coverage over many years but disappointed that he decided to bring this claim.”
The employment tribunal panel ruled against the pundit.
In its judgment, the panel said: “All the evidence is that Mr McCririck’s pantomime persona, as demonstrated on the celebrity television appearances, and his persona when appearing on Channel 4 Racing, together with his self-described bigoted and male chauvinist views were clearly unpalatable to a wider potential audience.
“The tribunal is satisfied that the respondent had the legitimate aim of attracting a wider audience to horseracing.”Read the rest of the story British Horseracing Authority News Headlines