TV viewers protest over axing of older presenters

A number of older television presenters have been axed in recent weeks, prompting a debate about ageism in the broadcast media.

Now a new ICM poll commissioned by Age Concern and Help the Aged shows that TV viewers actually want to see more older women on screen.

Indeed, some 71 per cent said they would be like to see women like Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips on top programmes.

The 66-year-old choreographer was recently dismissed from the reality TV show and replaced with 30-year-old singer Alesha Dixon.

Eight out of ten respondents to the poll said they believe that moves like this highlight the discriminatory nature of television and think the industry favours younger women.

Andrew Harrop, head of public policy at Age Concern and Help the Aged, said: "Television is incredibly powerful and if ageism is to be stamped out, it must represent positive images of older women."

One woman feeling the pressure to stay young is Amanda Redman, who was caught out recently after lying about her age.

The actress said she was dreading turning 50 this year, but according to her birth certificate she is already 52.

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