Research threatens to spark fresh 'ageism' controversy at BBC

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London, Mar 22(ANI): The BBC is at the centre of another ageism controversy after a research revealed that only one in five of its main channel presenters and acting talent are over 50.

According to the Older Faces audit commissioned by Anchor, England's largest provider of housing and care for older people, BBC1 trails ITV in giving opportunities to seniors, where ITV1 employs 27 per cent.

BBC1, however, performed better than Channel 4, where only 12 percent of presenters and actors were over 50.

The study also revealed TV's snub for older women, as it found that only one in five of BBC's female presenters were over 50, compared to one in four of men.

Anchor chief executive Jane Ashcroft, who is writing to BBC and ITV chiefs to call for changes, said that the problem is perpetuated by the media's fixation with youth.

"As a culture we dramatically undervalue the contribution older people make to society," Daily Express quoted Ashcroft, as saying.

"It is scandalous that the over-50s are not represented more fairly on television. Rather than condemning older presenters and actors to the scrap heap, it is time for television executives to embrace the wealth of talent and experience they can offer," he added.

Meanwhile, commenting over the research, a BBC spokesman said: "We do not believe that a one-week sample study is an accurate reflection of the BBC's output throughout the year." (ANI)

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