BBC blasted for 'box ticking' after dropping Sir Steve Redgrave from Olympics coverage: 'It's because he's a white bloke!'

BBC blasted for 'box ticking' after dropping Sir Steve Redgrave from Olympics coverage: 'It's because he's a white bloke!'

WATCH NOW: Danny Kelly reacts to the BBC snubbing Steve Redgrave

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 18/04/2024

- 22:11

This year's BBC Olympics coverage will be hosted by Katherine Grainger and Sir Matthew Pinsent

Former BBC radio presenter Danny Kelly has claimed that Sir Steve Redgrave will not be working at the BBC because the broadcaster "is no longer a meritocracy".

Redgrave won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000 and is the most successful male rower in Olympic history.

Speaking to GB News, Danny Kelly said the legendary Olympian lost his job "because he’s a 62-year-old white bloke".

Having featured regularly on the BBC’s previous Olympic coverage since his retirement, the sporting legend has reportedly "lost out" on his role to Chair of UK Sport Dame Katherine Grainger.

Danny Kelly and Sir Steve Redgrave

Danny Kelly says Redgrave lost his job because he is a 'white man'

GB News / PA

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Redgrave said he "wasn’t told" that he'd been discontinued, but "it’s sort of evolved".

He added: "Matt [Sir Matthew Pinsent] is the presenter and Katherine Grainger is the equivalent to what I was doing. They went, ‘Male-female, covered on Olympic medals, why have three?’"

Reacting to Redgrave's dismissal from this year's coverage, Kelly quoted the BBC's 'mission statement', which reads: "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."

Kelly raged: "This is an example of the hardwiring. He's lost his job. He’s being binned off because he's a 62-year-old white bloke."

Steve Redgrave

Sir Steve Redgrave is a five-time Olympic gold medallist in rowing


Kelly also accused the BBC of "box ticking" and said Katherine Grainger only replaced Redgrave because she "is a woman".

Kelly told GB News: "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."

Kelly continued: "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."

Danny Kelly

Danny Kelly says the BBC are 'box ticking'

GB News

Kelly then warned that the BBC "isn't going to end" the box ticking, and the broadcaster "doesn’t need to run the organisation like a commercial business does".

Kelly fumed: "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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