Former BBC1 controller: I don't hate women
Thursday 11 November 2010
One of the most senior female television executives in Britain yesterday launched an emotional rebuttal of "utterly offensive" claims that she "hates" women.
Jay Hunt, the former BBC1 controller, insisted that during her tenure at the channel, she had promoted a number of women in their forties and older into prime-time television slots. She denied claims that four women in their forties and fifties had been dropped from the Countryfile programme because she "hated women".
She said: "It is entirely and categorically untrue, also profoundly distressing and utterly offensive on every level. I am a 43-year-old woman, I have had my own difficulties surviving this industry. For that reason, the last thing I would ever do is ever discriminate against anyone on the basis of gender or age. Nothing could be further from my mind.
"The only small comfort I have taken from such a distressing thing as this is the number of women both behind the camera and in front of the camera who have got in touch with me, sympathetic and outraged that I have had to sit there and listen to such a hateful thing."
Ms Hunt was speaking at the tribunal hearing brought by former Countryfile presenter Miriam O'Reilly, 53, who was dropped by the programme before it moved to a prime-time Sunday evening slot in April 2009.
The BBC has denied a claim of sex and age discrimination by Ms O'Reilly and has said she was dropped from the show because she lacked the necessary prime-time television experience.
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
Becky Watts: Four appear in court charged with hiding body parts after teenager's death
Isis 'bulldozes' Nimrud: UNESCO condemns destruction of ancient Assyrian site as a 'war crime'
Professor Brian Cox brands astrology-believing Tory MP David Tredinnick an 'outlier on the spectrum of reason'
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Kate Moss: Previously unpublished nude photo revealed by Mert and Marcus
- 4 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 5 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
£28000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A luxury fashion retailer based in W...
£27000 - £33000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End Devel...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...