Older women are subject to different standards than male colleagues at the BBC, even on radio, the broadcaster Libby Purves has said.
The corporation has a problem with older women because they are under more pressure to appear attractive and youthful, Purves, who presented Radio 4’s Midweek from 1983 until it was dropped in 2017, wrote in an opinion piece for Radio Times.
While a number of older male broadcasters, including Melvyn Bragg, David Attenborough and John Humphrys, held high-ranking positions well into their 70s, female presenters struggle to match them: “Sue Barker has been binned from A Question of Sport after 23 years. She is 64. More willingly, Jenni Murray and Jane Garvey depart from Woman’s Hour, aged 70 and 56. They are replaced by Emma Barnett, a mere 35.
What is this? Does the BBC have a problem with older women? Are we written off as old trouts while men become revered elders, sacred patriarchs, silver foxes?”
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