Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Axed McCririck to sue Channel 4

TV racing pundit John McCririck is suing Channel 4

John McCririck has announced he is to sue Channel 4 for £3 million claiming the broadcaster axed him from its racing coverage because he was too old.

The racing pundit - known for his bling, sideburns and deerstalker - was dropped when the station unveiled its new presenting team headed by Clare Balding.

John, a former Celebrity Big Brother contestant, has previously criticised the decision by Channel 4 to award the contract to produce the racing coverage to IMG Sports Media, ending its previous agreement with Highflyer.

In a statement the 72-year-old said: "Channel 4 and production company IMG Sports Media were yesterday each served a letter before action for age discrimination.

"After 29 years with Channel 4 Racing, on a rolling annual contract, I have been sacked without any consultation or cogent explanation. I am 72.

"For loss of future earnings, unfair career damaging, public humiliation, stress and mental anguish, I will be seeking £500,000. Ageism is illegal. For tens of thousands of employees it has become the feared scourge of our society. This litigation should prove to be a watershed."

He said: "I am seeking a further exemplary, punitive £2.5m, part of which will be donated to charitable organisations helping to prevent negative prejudice in the workplace."

McCririck said he was being represented on a no-win no-fee basis by employment and sports law specialist solicitor Stephen Beverley, of the London West End Cavendish Legal Group.

He said he would drop the legal action if he is "fully" reinstated, receives an apology and all his costs are met.

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