The Spectator

Ageism Watch

Ageism Watch
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The departure of Nick Ross from “Crimewatch” is a sad victory for the worst kind of criteria now being applied in television. Nobody disputes the importance of appearance on screen – it would be odd if it were otherwise – but Ross is scarcely senescent and looks a pretty sprightly 59 year old. Having dined with him once, I can attest to his charisma and brains. He talked with great animation about the book which he will now, presumably, have time to write on law and order. But, if the Standard is right, and he was shown the door because of his age, the BBC is asking for trouble. Its licence is paid by an ageing population; and trust in the familiar and the experienced is at the heart of the Corporation’s mandate. Ross was both, and his departure, if enforced, is a big mistake by a broadcaster in the throes of an identity crisis.