John McCririck tribunal: Channel 4's programming boss Jay Hunt denies age discrimination accusation

 

Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s programming boss, has denied a claim by John McCririck that she is a “serial age discrimination offender” and accused the racing pundit of making “false allegations” about her treatment of older presenters.

McCririck, 79, has launched a £3 million age discrimination claim against Channel 4, which axed him from its racing coverage after 29 years.

However Ms Hunt told the tribunal that she felt there was “no correlation” between younger presenters drawing younger audiences.

In a statement at the hearing, she said: “John McCririck's allegation that I am a 'serial age discrimination offender' is untrue.”

Ms Hunt said she had instigated voluntary training courses on discrimination at Channel 4 after she joined from the BBC, adding that she had “learned her lesson” from the Miriam O'Reilly case.

The presenter, who was in her 50s when she was dropped from the Countryfile programme, won an age discrimination case against the BBC. Ms Hunt was BBC1 Controller at the time.

Ms Hunt also said that she had no involvement in the decision of Moira Stuart to leave the BBC while she was Controller of Daytime.

Ms Hunt said: “I have been responsible for a channel or part of a channel for the past eight years. In that time, hundreds of on-screen talent decisions have been run past me by those making them.

"Only one of those decisions has ever led to a claim of age discrimination and, contrary to what John McCririck says, I have learnt from that case."

She added: “I had no reason to believe that anyone in the team which worked up the new programme had acted on the grounds of John McCririck's age, and that remains the position.”

A senior television producer told the tribunal that the controversial McCririck was dropped from the revamped Channel 4 racing line-up, because his “pantomime” presenting style was a distraction.

Carl Hicks, the IMG production company's executive producer of Channel 4 Racing, said: “He was not appropriate and there was not an appropriate role for him.”

As IMG was looking at potential on-screen talent, Mr Hicks joked that they were on the verge of "putting forward the poshest team in racing".

Channel 4 Racing's presenting duo includes Clare Balding, who had childhood links to the Queen, and Nick Luck who went to Harrow, he told the tribunal.

Francesca Cumani, daughter of Newmarket trainer Luca, was also mentioned and she was "quite upmarket and could also be seen as quite posh", according to Mr Hicks.

Channel 4 and IMG deny the age discrimination claims.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Environment
The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
environment
News
This artist impression shows a modern-day Atlantis
news
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Search Account Manager

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel your sales role is l...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Guru Careers: PR Account Manager / PR AM

£28 - 34k: Guru Careers: An ambitious PR Account Manager is needed to join a c...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital