Congratulations to Miriam O’Reilly who has successfully won her case against the BBC for age discrimination. The employment tribunal ruled that Miriam, 53, was dismissed because of her age (not sex) when senior BBC executives decided to overhaul BBC1 rural affairs (Countryfile) show in November 2008.
The exodus of older women disappearing from our TVs over the past few years has been lamentable – Moira Stuart, Anna Ford, Arlene Phillips and Selina Scott to mention a few. It’s not surprising that so many women fear looking older and have difficulty in embracing their post menopausal life. Women often believe that past 50 their useful lives have come to an end. A regular comment I hear, ‘I just feel invisible these days’! Not helped by the BBC whisking all our 50s+ role models from our screens.
But thanks to this case, campaigners believe times will now change with the BBC swiftly announcing ‘fair selection for presenter appointments’ as well as increased training for senior executives. The future looks bright – let’s look forward to seeing many more gorgeously maturing women on our TVs.