Flamboyant Racing pundit John McCririck was sacked, not because of his age, but because his pantomime persona was 'unpalatable' - an employment tribunal ruled today.
The 73 year old, who was making the claim against his former employer Channel 4, said the ruling was a victory for "anonymous suits and skirts".
– John McCririck
This is an historic setback for all employees in their 30s to their 70s.
After such a landmark judicial verdict, my failed legal action ensures that anonymous suits and skirts, who control the media, numerous other businesses and the public sector, will now enjoy complete freedom to replace older employees whatever their unimpaired ability and merit.
The Tribunal panel blamed Mr McCririck's on-screen image for his demise along with his 'chauvinist' views and 'confrontational' opinions.
– Tribunals Judiciary Ruling
All the evidence is that Mr McCririck's pantomime persona, as demonstrated on the celebrity television appearances, and his persona when appearing on Channel 4 Racing, together with his self-described bigoted and male chauvinist views were clearly unpalatable to a wider potential audience.
His style of dress, attitudes, opinions and tic tac gestures were not in keeping with the new aims and his opinions seen as arrogant and confrontational.
But Mr McCririck's wife Jenny defended her husband to ITV News.
She denied he was "arrogant and confrontational" and said he had taken the ruling "quite badly" and was "quite upset".
Channel 4 thanked Mr McCririck for his previous work but said it was disappointed the matter had been brought to court.
– Channel 4 statement
We welcome the unanimous verdict of the tribunal that John McCririck’s claim fails and that Channel 4 did not discriminate on the basis of age.
We are grateful to John for his contribution towards Channel 4’s racing coverage over many years but disappointed that he decided to bring this claim.