Racing pundit John McCririck, a sexism storm veteran, has accused Channel 4 of ageism after he was dropped from the broadcaster’s horse racing presenting team. McCririck, pictured with his wife Jenny who he calls ‘The Booby’, will not be part of the IMG-produced Channel 4 Racing coverage when it returns in January 2013 lead by Clare Balding, arguably the best sports presenter around.
Channel 4 will broadcast the Grand National for the first time this year, as well as other events poached from the BBC.
Speaking to The Guardian, McCririck said he was being “sacked” by Channel 4 “after audience research.”
“Yes, I do antagonise people, as reactions to being twice in the Celebrity Big Brother house and also on Coach Trip prove,” he said.
“Yet, as Clare Balding, a terrific choice to lead the new young team, said recently, I’ve become the face of racing alongside Frankie Dettori and now of course Clare herself.”
72-year-old McCririck said it was “so sad” that “ageism” had played a part in the selection of the presenting team.
From 2013, Channel 4 Racing will be the new home of horse racing on TV. It will broadcast 88 days of coverage a year and show nearly 300 hours of live action.
This includes a range of premium events, including the Cheltenham Festival, Aintree’s three-day John Smith’s Grand National meeting, the Investec Derby Festival from Epsom Downs, Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.