Just 18 Percent of U.K. TV Presenters Over 50 are Women (Report)

TV industry accused of ageism and sexism, with female presenters' days on screen numbered after age 50.


Fewer than one in five presenters over the age of 50 at major broadcast stations are women, a new study reveals, according to the Guardian.

Research compiled from figures taken from the main U.K. broadcasters found that just 18 percent of presenters over age 50 are women. BBC television and radio, Sky, ITN and Channel 5 combined have just 26 women over 50 working as regular on-air presenters out of a total of 481.

Overall, women over 50 make up just 5 percent of onscreen presenters (of all ages and both sexes) and 7 percent of the workforce, both on- and offscreen.

Senior executives at the BBC, ITV, ITN, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky are to meet members of the Older Women's Commission on Thursday to discuss what can be done to end such discrimination.

Harriet Harman, the Labour Party deputy and the shadow culture secretary, accused the TV industry of ageism and sexism. "It really is a black hole … Broadcasters behave as though the viewing public have to be protected from the sight of an older woman and that's just rude. There is nothing wrong with being an older woman.

"We've got to fight back against this sense that older women are less valuable, whereas men accumulate wisdom, authority and experience as they age."

Harman launched the commission last year to consider the experience of older women with a focus on three main areas: women in the workplace, women with careers and women in public life.