‘Not a very happy place!’ Ex-BBC star says broadcaster faces ‘tough old time’ amid legal action

‘Not a very happy place!’ Ex-BBC star says broadcaster faces ‘tough old time’ amid legal action

WATCH NOW: Nicholas Owen reveals BBC culture as broadcaster faces legal action

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 20/04/2024

- 10:32

Updated: 20/04/2024

- 10:33

Martine Croxall has launched a legal battle against the broadcaster over claims of 'age and sex discrimination'

Former BBC presenter Nicholas Owen has warned that the broadcaster is facing "tough times", as newsreader Martine Croxall launches a legal bid against them.

The 55-year-old newsreader is set to face an employment tribunal against the corporation, with claims of age and sex discrimination, and issues surrounding equal pay.

Croxall joined the BBC in 1991 and was most recently a regular presenter on the BBC News Channel.

Reacting to the allegations, Nicholas Owen told GB News that the case was "sad" and Croxall is a "great broadcaster", revealing that he knows her well.

Nicholas Owen

Former BBC presenter Nicholas Owen claimed the broadcaster is 'not a happy place'

GB News

Sharing his thoughts on the culture of the corporation, Owen said the "dear old BBC" is "not a very happy place these days".

However, he defended the broadcaster's level of journalism and said it's still of a "very, very high order".

Owen told host Mark Dolan: "We rely on it so much, I think we don't realise quite how much we rely on it. Not just on the basic TV stuff, the traditional stuff, but on the website and all of it.

"The BBC news website is the most visited news website in the world, including the Americans and all the other people. It's sad to see it in the state it's in."

Martine Croxall

BBC Newsreader Martine Croxall is launching legal action against the broadcaster


Mark said Owen was "right to praise the journalism" of the BBC and claimed it is a "great British brand", but pressed Owen on why he believes the BBC is a "sad place to work".


Owen responded: "Well, I think the morale - it's always been difficult. In my days on the BBC, I was back in the early 80s and then I went back there in sort of early 2000s.

"The BBC that I came back to was an enormous amount of admin people, sitting in committees, and all the things we all saw on W1A, the famous skit."

He continued: "That had grown enormously. What had shrunk underneath it was the number of good people actually doing the spadework, the donkey work, getting on with the job. And that's the sad part."

Owen reflected on the "losses" at the BBC, including Emily Maitlis, and said the changes are "really sad".

Nicholas Owen

Nicholas Owen said it is a 'very tough time' for the BBC

GB News

Owen admitted: "When you think of the number of key top journalists from all people I've known so well who've gone, I mean, it's really sad.

"It's the Emily Maitlis's of this world. So, so many others have departed."

"But that tells you something about an organisation very sadly, doesn't it, losing key people like that. I think it's a tough old time for them. Very tough old time, I feel very sorry for them."

The two-day tribunal is due to start on May 1 in central London. The BBC and Croxall are yet to comment on the proceedings.

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