Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Too old for the Beeb?

I've been the victim of age discrimination by the BBC. Well, to be more precise, by a researcher at the BBC. I called Radio Five Live this morning to offer a comment on how sports stars cope with the media - a topic that I know well, since I list sports stars among my media clients.

My call was answered, as expected, by a researcher. He asked me what I was calling about, and said "that's interesting". He asked me where I lived, and then said "is it East London?". Of course, the phone system had worked it out for him. Then the killer question "May I ask how old you are?" I replied, quite honestly, "55". There was a brief pause "Oh dear" he said "too old for our demographic. I'm sorry. Bye". And there was a click as he hung up the phone.

I was stunned. I was calling the Victoria Derbyshire show at 9.30am. It's a show I have appeared on several times as a guest - as recently as three months ago. I have never been asked my age before. Is it a new policy by the Beeb, or an over-zealous researcher? I hope the latter.

A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that newsreader Selena Scott is suing Channel 5 news for age discrimination. I was at university with Selena, and she has my full support in her claim - she's no age at all. What's going on with the media?

1 comment:

Joanne Mallon said...

What a bunch of cheeky blighters Alan! Next time tell them you're really 12 and bunking off school.