John McCririck, the former presenter on Channel 4 Racing, told an employment tribunal that he had been the victim of a “vendetta” against him by the “suits and skirts” in charge of the television company.
The 73-year-old claims he was sacked from Channel 4 Racing last October without any explanation because they wanted to hire someone younger and is now suing the broadcaster and IMG Sports Media, which produces its racing coverage, for £2.5m in punitive damages, and £500,000 compensation for loss of future earnings, unfair damage to his career, public humiliation, stress and mental anguish.
Speaking outside the employment tribunal, he stated:
“I was sacked because I was old, 72 — I am so angry.
“There are people in their 40s, 50s and 60s who dread that a younger person will come in and take them out of a job. That is why I am claiming £3m in total, so that no one will ever be sacked because they are trying to get a younger person. On merit and ability fine, but not because they are younger.”
“It’s because the suits and skirts, they are never answerable to anybody. They make their decisions, they can destroy people’s lives and careers and they are never made answerable. Now they are going to be answerable providing we can get over the legal argument.”
Channel 4, IMG Sports Media, Executive Producer, Carl Hicks, CEO, David Abraham, Channel 4 Sports Editor, Jamie Aitchison, and Channel 4 Chief Creative, Jay Hunt, are all listed as respondents to the claim.
The broadcaster denies that McCririck was discriminated against because of his age and claims that it never directly employed him.
An employment tribunal judge was hearing arguments about whether or not the presenter was employed by Channel 4, before deciding whether or not a full Tribunal will take place later this year.