Steve Redgrave 'binned off because he's a 62-year-old white bloke', claims former BBC presenter

Steve Redgrave 'binned off because he's a 62-year-old white bloke', claims former BBC presenter
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 18/04/2024

- 19:34

A former BBC radio presenter has claimed that Sir Steve Redgrave will not be working at the BBC because the broadcaster ‘is no longer a meritocracy’.

Danny Kelly said the legendary Olympian lost his job ‘because he’s a 62-year-old white bloke.’

Speaking on GB News, Danny Kelly said: “He's lost his job because the BBC is no longer a meritocracy. Let me just read you something out, part of a mission statement:

‘We are a diverse organisation and have much to be proud of. But we're also challenging ourselves to ensure that diversity and inclusion is hardwired into everything that the BBC does.’

“And there's an example of the hardwiring. He's lost his job. He’s being binned off because he's a 62-year-old white bloke.

“Matthew Pinsent, who was his fellow rower, he still is the main anchor man, as it were. And they've brought in another very, very proud Olympian, a British sporting hero if you like, but she's a 48-year-old woman.

“And the reason that she's there is that she's a woman; it's really as straightforward as that. I can give you other examples where this hardwiring has actually cost the BBC audience figures.

“Just look at Ken Bruce, he was a 72-year-old fella. He had the biggest radio show in the UK. They've replaced him with someone much younger and they've lost a million [listeners] and where Ken Bruce has gone, which is Greatest Hits, they've now put millions on.

“Look at Sue Barker. They binned Sue Barker, a British icon, off a Question of Sport just for a diverse line-up and that’s now being cancelled.

“It’s another example of box ticking and it's such a shame because the audience generally speaking, I would argue, aren’t interested in this box ticking. They want the best person for the job.

“This isn't going to end, it really isn't. And the problem is, is that the BBC doesn’t need to run the organisation like a commercial business does.

“Let's go back to 72-year-old Ken Bruce. There's no way a commercial radio station would have binned him off. It's because the BBC have this guarantee of licence fee; billions of pounds of license fee money so they have that luxury.

“At the moment, until suddenly dramatic change with the way the BBC is funded, you can expect to see more box ticking on anything and even if you can't actually see a diverse face you can hear it on the television with continuity announcers.

“You can tell that there's a discernible, Afro Caribbean voice telling you that EastEnders is coming up after the 6.30 news. And this has all happened in the last three or four years.

“It's been exacerbated since the murder of George Floyd; the whole media landscape changed. Black Lives Matter infiltrated the big mainstream media organisations and we're now seeing the ramifications of that.”


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