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Older presenters...

Eddie Mair | 10:44 UK time, Thursday, 20 August 2009

a new poll in The Guardian.


  • 1. At 10:58am on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Yes, yes, YES! While I would also like to see younger presenters, I firmly believe there is a place - a good place - for older presenters, too. They lend weight (no pun intended) to the issues in hand and have so much more experience than 20 something bimbos, whether male or female. Those bimbos will, themselves, eventually be older and will understand exactly what I mean.

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  • 2. At 11:18am on 20 Aug 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Selina Scott some years ago while she doing some filming for BBC. We got talking about her social life...at that time she was working for sky news as a news reader. She told me her social life was virtually none existent when her day started at three in the morning to be reading the early morning news etc. However, she said it was work and you can't turn it down if you need it.

    I think its a nothing but out and out prejudice to get rid of people due purely to their age when they are not only competent but have many years experience too. As long as your competent at what you do, there should be no age bar. However, competence could be a subjective thing.


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  • 3. At 11:35am on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    I always feel for Fiona Bruce. She looks stunning - but I suspect it is at a price, and I'm sure I read somewhere something by her in which she said she realised she'd be ditched some day because of her age (though clearly not an issue at the moment). And it really shouldn't be like this, after all. As long as somebody is, well, presentable, the next consideration should be their fitness for the job - as Joe says.

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  • 4. At 11:35am on 20 Aug 2009, vagueofgodalming wrote:

    It's OK, Eddie - Humphrys and Naughtie are still around so I don't think you're in any danger from the Death Panel just yet.

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  • 5. At 12:17pm on 20 Aug 2009, darkdesign wrote:

    As Private Eye likes to remind us, younger people don't pay the licence fee.

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  • 6. At 12:21pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    BREAKING NEWS:Libyan plane heading for Scotland to pick up Lockerbie bomber, BBC learns

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  • 7. At 12:47pm on 20 Aug 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Michaela Strachan is *too old*? She stills seems - as she always has - to just be a wee slip of a thing.

    I enjoy the, erm, more seasoned presenters; Peter Day, Valerie Singleton, Terry Wogan, Eddie Mair...

    Don't get me started on this embryo that's playing the new Doctor Who.

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  • 8. At 12:48pm on 20 Aug 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    ... one of the many advantages of radio over television - you can't see who's speaking.

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  • 9. At 12:50pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    8 - not to mention blogging ;o)

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  • 10. At 12:58pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Stand by for Martha Kearney and the News.

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  • 11. At 1:00pm on 20 Aug 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    Can we have Valerie Singleton back? Just on Saturdays, or maybe to read the headlines would be fine.

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  • 12. At 1:00pm on 20 Aug 2009, Stewart_M wrote:

    Eddie, Are you worried about something? Did not think you would put yourself in the "old" category. Looks are always better on the radio. As long as you leave the studio web cam turned off :-)

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  • 13. At 1:01pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Waiting for the news

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  • 14. At 1:02pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Keep your nerve, Mr. McGaskill!

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  • 15. At 1:06pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Sorry, MacAskill

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  • 16. At 1:06pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Please, do tell us!

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  • 17. At 1:20pm on 20 Aug 2009, TallulahTanglewood wrote:

    Older presenters have the savvy and panache to present their expertise well, with the confidence to know that they're experts. Look at Caroline Wyatt, Lindsey Hilsum, Martha Kearney, Kirsty Wark, Bridget Kendal. They do all this with style and elegance as well as gravitas and smarts.

    The audience does eventually tire of someone who's only glamourous without the knowledge and substance to back it up.

    If a singer is also a dance professional, they might be up to the job on Strictly but it seems insane to recruit a non-expert to judge a skills competition. No wonder the reaction has been negative. People aren't stupid.

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  • 18. At 1:25pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Thank you, Mr. MacAskill, for being humane and compassionate. Let the man die with his family.

    This is about humanity and mercy, not vengeance and anger. The decision raises us above those whom we judge.

    I wonder whether there is room for any other news now on WatO? ;)

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  • 19. At 1:34pm on 20 Aug 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    18 Big Sissy
    Let's just hope that al-Megrahi survived til the end of the speech.
    It was good to hear MacAskill call for an inquiry into all the events, but I fear I'm drifting off topic.

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  • 20. At 1:37pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    19: who you calling Sissy, Lucy? ;)

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  • 21. At 1:47pm on 20 Aug 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    20 - Well it ain't Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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  • 22. At 1:52pm on 20 Aug 2009, mittfh wrote:

    In general, I think the replacement of "older" female presenters with younger ones is regrettable. They claim it's to bring more younger viewers / listeners in (apparently the average age of a BBC ONE viewer is 51) - but has anyone actually surveyed "younger" viewers to ask what they think? Does it matter how young / old news presenters in particular are? And were the radio shows hemorrhaging listeners 'disgusted' that someone old enough to be their grandmother enjoyed the same music as them? (I doubt it!)

    Michaela's currently presenting a wildlife themed show on FIVE, and still looks as fresh as when she was on the Really Wild Show (and possibly even Wacaday).

    As for Arlene, she did appear to add the least value to the judging panel. She practically drooled over younger male celebs and coined diabolical puns to slag off those she didn't like. Oh, then there was the John Sergeant business. Normally judges keep their opinions on the dancers restricted to the set - but she kept moaning to any news organisation that would listen when off set.

    However, with the arrival of Alesha, the producers will need to create a definite role for her (other than being a pretty face!) - Craig is well known for his acidic comments and lean scores, Bruno is practically the opposite, Len tries to offer constructive criticism (and frequently argued with Arlene). Perhaps words of encouragement to the two left feet brigade, pointing out any slight improvement they make from week to week.

    However, it's interesting to note age discrimination doesn't appear to apply to the male gender - take Brucie and Len for a start...

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  • 23. At 2:36pm on 20 Aug 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Wasn't Nick Ross (no old codger) replaced on Crimewatch by a younger, female and Scottish presenter. I don't remember much of a fuss then. Also weren't these current female presenters promoted to replace older female presenters. Now the real problem is the media don't know when people are truely past their sell by dates. I could name a few but it would cause upset.

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  • 24. At 2:43pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    23: Originally he was replaced by Fiona Bruce, I believe, by she was, in turn, replaced by Kirsty Young. There was some fuss about Nick Ross being replaced, as I recall.

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  • 25. At 2:44pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Sorry about the rash of bys in my 24 ;)

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  • 26. At 2:55pm on 20 Aug 2009, pithywriter wrote:

    Megrahi: 'A convenient scapegoat?'

    I know it is past the 10am deadline but just read this on BBC news

    Before 'we' all get overly smug on our 'turn the other cheek' values and in view of what the American interviewee woman said on WATO re politics and oil - Libya/ uk deal done - can we have a serious discussion on BBC re this angle and her assertion on PM tonight? That's if the government allow bbc to do it of course without anyone having to resign - remember Greg Dyke anyone ?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 27. At 2:59pm on 20 Aug 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #25 Sorry Big sister but I have looked up Nick ross on Wikipedia and it says this "In late 2007, he left Crimewatch, soon followed by his co-presenter Fiona Bruce. The replacement presenter, Kirsty Young, was about 20 years younger than Nick and the BBC were accused of ageism over these changes.[5] His 23 years as the main Crimewatch anchor marks him as one of the longest-serving presenters of a continuous series in TV history." However the fuss was very short lived. Note that Fiona Bruce was a co-presenter. Kirsty Young just ticked too many boxes (certainly for some men).

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  • 28. At 3:09pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Looternite, I bow to the greater wisdom and knowledge of Wikipedia ;)

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  • 29. At 3:16pm on 20 Aug 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    I read Fearne(27) and Reggie(25) are ready to progress to a regular late afternoon Radio4 slot.

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  • 30. At 4:04pm on 20 Aug 2009, jonnie wrote:

    I know it's off topic but I was rather shocked that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds.

    I wonder BigSis if you would have felt the same if you had lost a close relative on that airliner?

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  • 31. At 4:14pm on 20 Aug 2009, mittfh wrote:

    Let's take a peek at science:

    The penultimate Tomorrow's World presenters were Peter Snow (64 back in 2002) and Philippa Forrester(33 in 2002) - with the final series presented by Adam Hart-Davis (60 in 2003), Kate Humble (34 in 2003) and Roger Black (36 in 2003)

    Now we've got various shows presented by Richard Hammond (39), plus Bang goes the Theory - presenters include Liz Bonnin (32) and Dallas Campbell (39). Oh, and Bill Oddie (68) has left Springwatch, while Simon King (47) remains and Chris Packham (48) has joined.

    So much for the old adage "Life begins at 40" - while it looks as though 40+ year olds can still be hired, several may be "redeployed". Then again, it's not exactly new - IIRC there seems to be an unofficial tradition of Radio 1 presenters moving to Radio 2. I'm not sure about Radio 3, but Radio 4 certainly seems to take all-comers....

    Jenni Murray (59), Jane Garvey (45), Martha Kearney (51), Carolyn Quinn (48), Sarah Montague (43) are regular females, whilst the comedy slots in particular have/had several comparatively ancient Males - Humph was 86 and Clement 84 when they 'left', Nicholas is 85, Barry is 74, whilst Tim and Graeme are mere snips at 69 and 66 respectively.

    I'm having trouble finding under 40s for Radio 4 though - Dave Gorman's 38, are there (m)any more or is R4 a "retirement home" for people from other bits of the BBC?

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  • 32. At 4:25pm on 20 Aug 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    You forgot Eddie Mair...hes fouftythirwentyone.

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  • 33. At 4:33pm on 20 Aug 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Is Eddie's picture "Photoshopped" or is it like those Soviet times pictures of the leaders that had been frozen in time when they were 30 somethings.

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  • 34. At 4:48pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Jonnie (30), Yes, I believe I would have. For two reasons. Firstly, I don't believe in vengeance and to deny him the opportunity to die with his family would, to my mind, be vengeful. Secondly, I have serious doubts (along with many others) that he was guilty - but I keep an open mind on that one and hope that there will be a full, independent review of the evidence. But, even without my second reason, the first one colours my judgment. I do not want to be reduced to the level of those who perpetrate atrocities, which is how I would feel if I was demanding that he be denied this act of compassion.

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  • 35. At 4:51pm on 20 Aug 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    My 34: In fact, I'll quote you Portia/Shakespeare on this:

    The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
    'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
    The throned monarch better than his crown;
    His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
    The attribute to awe and majesty,
    Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
    But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
    It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
    It is an attribute to God himself;
    And earthly power doth then show likest God's
    When mercy seasons justice.

    He had a very good point, imho.

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  • 36. At 5:14pm on 20 Aug 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Big Sis

    I am fully with you.

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  • 37. At 5:29pm on 20 Aug 2009, Allysnews wrote:

    I have been very moved by the release of this Libyan prisoner jailed for the Lockerbie bombing. It makes me proud to be the daughter of a Scotsman. The quality of mercy has not decreased since Shakespeares time but in this selfish and vengeful society it is often forgotten. Three cheers for the Scottish Parliament

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  • 38. At 5:41pm on 20 Aug 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Annie Nightingale (67) still broadcasts on Radio 1, and is probably the longest-playing DJ. Is that a record? :-)

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  • 39. At 5:55pm on 20 Aug 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Sir Patric (the sky at night) Moore. Hes about ? now!

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  • 40. At 6:00pm on 20 Aug 2009, Medway Maid wrote:

    Harriet Cass is my age. Likewise Charlotte Green. Oh sorry, we women of a Certain Age are only allowed to use their dulcet tones on the Radio. Heaven forfend that we should strut our stuff on the upstart flybynight medium of television....

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  • 41. At 6:00pm on 20 Aug 2009, Joker wrote:

    31, 32... Eddie is actually 84.

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  • 42. At 6:32pm on 20 Aug 2009, retirred wrote:

    How much I feel the right decission was taken in Scotland today regarding the Lockerbie Bomber. I am glad we in the UK have compassion, for the guilty. I was horrified by some of the American people who were interviewed for PM, showing complete lack of compassion for a man who will soon die, taking what he has done with him to the grave.

    Bruce Cooper,

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  • 43. At 6:47pm on 20 Aug 2009, Stewart_M wrote:

    Jo the e. By heck he is wearing well!

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  • 44. At 7:45pm on 20 Aug 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    FJD (39):

    Re: Sir Patrick Moore's ag: the fact is, we just don't know!

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  • 45. At 05:22am on 21 Aug 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Jo the Editor in comment 41!!!!

    Why, are you saying such scandalous comments about our fearless leader, Eddie.....

    Unless, you can submit his birth certificate; Then you should retract the remarks...

    =Dennis Junior=

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  • 46. At 08:30am on 21 Aug 2009, gossipmistress wrote:

    Re the Lockerbie Bomber's release, I find it hard to imagine it's entirely on compassionate grounds, however good that makes us feel. A political deal has to be behind it.

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  • 47. At 10:54am on 21 Aug 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    JtE 41, Just remember, people like you and Ed get your birthdays mentioned in the Indy. You know, Sid's favorite newspaper.

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  • 48. At 10:56am on 21 Aug 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    RSM 38, Yes, an LP is a record, but they tend to use CDs now.

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  • 49. At 3:19pm on 21 Aug 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    (48) D McN - My wife went into Corry's this week and asked for a CD player (we thought it was time we got one). She was told they are old technology. Is that why Tosca is selling portable ones for £2.48?

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  • 50. At 4:38pm on 21 Aug 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    VH 49, We catch up with things eventually. I suppose a lot of people are recording to hard drive now or buying DVDs. I just bought a thingy to put my old records on CDs. Currys in central St Albans recently closed.

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