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.

Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
news
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
A photograph taken by David Redferm of Sonny Rollins
people
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Extras
indybest
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

Head of Business Development and Analytics - TV

competitive benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Outstanding analytic expertise is req...

Head of ad sales international - Broadcast

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you the king or Queen o...

Business Development Manager Content/Subscriptions

£50k + commission: Savvy Media Ltd: Great opportunity to work for a team that ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

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

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker