John McCririck loses age discrimination case against Channel 4
Jockey Tony McCoy is just two wins away from a landmark 4,000 wins. He could reach that magical figure at Exeter Racecourse today.
Racing pundit John McCririck was dumped by Channel 4 because he was "alienating" and "offensive", an employment tribunal heard.
The wife of John McCririck has told ITV News that he has taken an employment tribunal's decision that he wasn't sacked because of his age "quite badly" and he is "quite upset."
Jenny McCririck said the racing pundit thought he would win the case against Channel 4 and "couldn't believe" he had lost.
She said it was unlikely they would appeal the tribunal's decision which she described as "disappointing".
And she rejected claims in the judgement that it was her husband's pantomime persona that was 'unpalatable' to programme makers not his age.
In a statement Channel 4 welcomed the ruling and said it was disappointed the claim had been brought to court.
Channel 4 today welcomed an Employment Tribunal's decision to throw out a claim of age discrimination brought by former Racing presenter John McCririck.
– Channel 4
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.
The employment tribunal which today dismissed John McCririck's claim of age discrimination against Channel 4 has published its judgment in full.
It says the racing pundit's persona and opinions were out of keeping with the new programme:
– Tribunals Judiciary
Mr McCririck was dismissed because of his persona...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.
In its judgement, the Employment Tribunal blamed Mr McCririck's on-screen persona for his demise.
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.
The tribunal is satisfied that the respondent had the legitimate aim of attracting a wider audience to horseracing.
Racing pundit John McCririck has given his reaction to losing his age discrimination case against Channel 4 today.
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.
I have let them all down along with my wife, the Booby, my legal team, friends, colleagues and countless members of the public who supported me throughout. My grateful thanks and apologies to every one of them.
Former Labour home secretary David Blunkett MP said in August: 'The way TV executives worship the cult of youth seems to be an unstoppable fetish'.
It is now.
Racing pundit John McCririck has lost his age discrimination employment tribunal case against Channel 4, he said today.
AP McCoy's trainer said the record-breaking jockey is so good he could win a race riding a monkey.
Jonjo O'Neill said after McCoy's 4,000th win:
– Jonjo O'Neill
It's just amazing. You can't put words to it, but the man is fantastic. He's a fantastic man and a fantastic jockey.
Old horses, young horses, monkeys. You name it, he can win on it, that's the fantastic thing about him - it doesn't matter what it is he just wants to ride winners.
I can't finds words to describe the fella. I'm just so pleased to have him.
Jockey AP McCoy said he felt "relieved" and "proud" after riding his 4,000th winner:
– AP McCoy
The horse was fantastic. You can't win any horse race without their help and I've ridden some fantastic horses.
There is a sense of relief, no doubt, but for the first time in my life I feel a sense of pride of what I've achieved.
This is the quickest sport in the world to bring you back down, but I do feel and happy and proud of what I've done.