John McCririck loses age discrimination case against Channel 4
Racing pundit John McCririck was dumped by Channel 4 because he was "alienating" and "offensive", an employment tribunal heard.
On the first day of his employment tribunal, racing pundit John McCririck insisted he was a victim of age discrimination and is not sexist.
Channel 4 has thanked John McCririck for his years of racing broadcasting, but confirmed it will "vigorously" fight the claim he was dropped because of his age.
A statement was released ahead of the tribunal opening in central London.
– Channel 4 spokesman
We are grateful to John McCririck for his contribution towards Channel 4 Racing over many years.
However we reject the suggestion that discrimination on the basis of age played any part in the decision not to include John in the Channel 4 Racing team from 2013 and we are vigorously defending this claim.
Racing pundit John McCririck has arrived at the London Central Employment Office for the start of his tribunal over alleged age discrimination.
The broadcaster and journalist is suing Channel 4 for unfair dismissal.
Racing pundit John McCririck told the Press Association that his employment tribunal was a "daunting ordeal" and all he wants "is my job back".
– John McCririck, Racing pundit
This is a chance for all people wherever they are employed who fear that they are going to be sacked because of their age, it's a time for all of them to take heart if the verdict goes for me.
I'm not in this for the money, all I want is my job back, it's all I have ever asked for.
It should never have come to the tribunal but they never back down, the suits and skirts can't be seen to back down.
Racing pundit John McCririck will begin his employment tribunal against former employer Channel 4 and TV production company IMG Media Limited today over alleged age discrimination.
The 73-year-old claims his sacking last year was motivated by age discrimination and the case is expected to last up to seven days.
McCririck, who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, was dropped when the station unveiled a new presenting team headed by Clare Balding.
He later announced his plans to sue Channel 4 for £3 million, claiming the broadcaster had axed him because he was too old.
Channel 4 will broadcast the Muslim call to prayer every morning during Ramadan - the religious festival which sees millions of worshippers around the world fast for a month.
The channel's head of factual programming Ralph Lee said it had previously been nearly invisible on mainstream TV.
Writing in the Radio Times, he said that many non-Muslims saw Ramadan in terms of "the physical hardship of fasting and control" rather than as a "time of reformation and reflection".
The channel will broadcast the traditional call to prayer, delivered by muezzin Hassen Rasool, at the same time it is played in mosques around London.
Former horse racing pundit is suing Channel 4 for £3 million after being dropped last year.
– Channel 4
We are grateful to John McCririck for his contribution towards the success of Channel 4 Racing over many years.
However we reject the suggestion that discrimination on the basis of age played any part in the decision not to renew his freelance contract and we will be vigorously defending this claim.
After being dropped from Channel 4's horse racing coverage last year, pundit John McCririck has accused his former employer of ageism.
He is suing Channel 4 for £3 million.
Speaking to ITV Daybreak he said: 'Ageism is the scurge of tens of thousands of people in our society.'
3.3 million watch Bethany Woodward take silver in T37 200m. Channel 4's biggest peak audience for Paralympics coverage. http://t.co/Gt2IZ5sd
Why not read the Paralympic jokes on my timeline and make your own mind up? Celebratory, non discriminatory, pretty funny.
Nobody thinks it's a good thing to laugh at the disabled. But it is a genuine problem that we're not allowed to laugh with the disabled.
The comedian Frankie Boyle has tweeted in response to criticism about controversial comments he made on Twitter about Paralympians during Wednesday's Opening Ceremony:
I'd say my Paralympic tweets are celebratory. I'll be joking about Paralympics same way I joked about the Olympics. That's my job yo
Where has this stereotype of disabled people being too weak & vulnerable to be talked about got us? It's got us to ATOS.