1. ITV Report

John McCririck 'alienated' and 'offended' audiences

John McCririck outside the London Central Employment Tribunal today. Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Flamboyant racing pundit John McCririck was dumped from a high-profile role on Channel 4 because he was "alienating" and "very offensive", an employment tribunal has been told.

Jay Hunt, Channel 4's chief creative officer, said a talent tracker study on how he went down with audiences was "one of the worst pieces of research I have ever seen regarding a presenter".

McCririck, 73, who was dropped from Channel 4's revamped on-screen line-up, is accusing his former employers of age discrimination

Hunt denied claims by McCririck that she was a "serial age discrimination offender".

The executive was at the BBC when presenter Miriam O'Reilly won an age discrimination case against the corporation after she was dropped from the Countryfile programme.

"Contrary to what John McCririck says, I have learnt from that case," Hunt told the tribunal.

Channel 4 Racing producer Carl Hicks told the tribunal McCririck was dropped because his "pantomime" presenting was a distraction.

John was an eccentric and seen at worst as a loud-mouthed and chauvinistic extraordinaire, which was not what I wanted to be part of the team to broaden racing.

– Carl Hicks

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