BBC appoints two female newsreaders in their 50s
Saturday 19 December 2009
The BBC is poised to name Zeinab Badawi and Fiona Armstrong as two of its new over-50 female news presenters, in a bid to widen its talent roster and thwart allegations of ageism.
The director general, Mark Thompson, had ordered staff to find at least one female presenter in her 50s, after criticism that older women were fearful of being ousted by younger colleagues. In 2006 veteran news reader Anna Ford quit the corporation, saying she feared being "shovelled off...into the graveyard shift". Joan Bakewell, the Government's adviser on ageism, has raised the matter with Mr Thompson and Helen Boaden, the corporation's head of news.
The magazine Broadcast said the corporation is lining up four new male and female BBC News channel presenters, one of whom will be in their 60s and the other three – including Ms Badawi and Ms Armstrong – in their 50s.
Ms Badawi, 50, is currently a presenter on BBC World. The Sudan-born newsreader co-presented Channel 4 News with Jon Snow for a decade until 1998. Ms Armstrong, 53, anchored ITV Border's regional news programme and has held a number of positions with the BBC. Insiders say the appointments, which are subject to financing, could be announced before Christmas.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Nigerian witch-finder Helen Ukpabio threatens legal action against human rights organisations
Scottish independence referendum: Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit to play in support of Yes campaign
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Downton Abbey series 5 start date revealed: ITV drama to return in late September
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Olivia Colman and Mary Berry top Radio Times' female power list
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain