BBC in fresh ageism row as former star claims show axe was because 'I turned 50 and that's not allowed!'

The BBC headquarters

The BBC has come under fire from a former presenter

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 10/08/2023

- 09:59

One of the BBC's biggest stars of the 90s has spoken out about their time with the broadcaster

Ruby Wax was one of the most recognisable faces on TV throughout the 1990s thanks to her docuseries on the BBC.

Ruby Wax Meets... saw the presenter sit down with famous faces from across the globe to put them under the spotlight, bringing in millions of viewers each episode.

The series saw Wax sit down with the likes of Pamela Anderson, Burt Reynolds, Goldie Hawn, Helen Mirren, Tom Hanks, Sharon Stone, OJ Simpson, and many other big names.

It even bagged a BAFTA nominee for the episode with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.

But after 20 episodes in 1998, Wax discovered no further episodes would be commissioned.

The same year, the BBC gave a platform to young documentary maker and interviewer Louis Theroux who hit the ground running with his own similar series, Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends.

Discussing why she felt the opportunities to be front and centre of her own shows vanished, Wax has now claimed it was down to her age.

She joined Kate Garraway on her Life Stories show this week and was quizzed: "So why did the television shows dry up?"

Ruby Wax

Ruby Wax has spoken out about her time at the Beeb


Wax bluntly replied: "Because I turned 50 and that's not allowed."

"So it was an age thing?" Garraway probed to which Wax defiantly replied: "Of course...

"And then there was a man who took my job, it's not Louis Theroux who is a really nice man," she clarified, despite admitting she used to blame Theroux for years for her departure.

Wax added that a BBC exec did offer another job opportunity but it wasn't quite up her street.

She told Garraway: "And whoever, I will not mention names, said, 'We want you to do a game show' but I said I could be a really good interviewer and they said, 'Uh uh' so I left town.'

Wax's first stint with the BBC came in 1991 with her show The Full Wax before her interview series.

She did eventually present a TV quiz show on BBC One titled The Waiting Game from November 2001 to June 2002.

The BBC declined to comment when contacted by GB News about Wax's claims.

Was also candidly opened up about her strict childhood and "violent" parents, recalling instances where she "had the s**t knocked out" of her.

Discussing her father Edward and mother Berta Wachs, she told Garraway: "They slung these verbal grenades at each other and I was in the middle, especially because I was born into the land of the free and the brave and I could have a really great life and they were nipped in the bud at 22, so they wanted to make it hard.

"They were pretty violent with each other (and me), you'd have the s**t knocked out of you.

Ruby Wax in 1997

Ruby Wax, pictured in 1997, was one of the BBC's biggest stars


"I had ambition and the drive of a Rottweiler to survive. I pushed them out of the way and I was very rebellious, I'd creep out of the window when I was 18.

"I remember I hitch-hiked at a private airport to get to San Francisco and then, of course, I'd go back (home) and they'd beat me up, and I'd go out again.

"I did everything to spite them and they were getting angrier and angrier," Wax continued.

She explained further: "If I hadn't had a whacking great sense of anger I think I would have gone under, but I was addicted to anger for quite a long time, I had to work really hard to get it out of my system.

"For me, it was survival because it saved me, if I wouldn't have gotten out of there, I would be dead."

Wax concluded: "I have a long line of suicide on my dad's side so yeah it would have happened. If I stayed there, I wouldn't have made it. And I got out."

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