BBC Radio 2 is mired in a 25-year age gap between ousted DJs and new presenters

BBC Radio 2 is mired in a 25-year age gap between ousted DJs and new presenters

  • The BBC has been accused of age discrimination as older DJs have announced departures
  • Vanessa Feltz, Paul O’Grady, Craig Charles and Steve Wright have all been cut
  • Now the Chiefs are trying to make Richie Anderson, 34, one of their next big names

Four long-standing Radio 2 stars are to be replaced by moderators who are on average 25 years younger.

The BBC was accused of “age discrimination” after Vanessa Feltz, Paul O’Grady, Craig Charles and Steve Wright – who are aged between 58 and 68 – announced their departures.

Now bosses are trying to make Richie Anderson, 34, who reads the travel news on Radio 2, one of their next big names after testing him with holiday titles.

He will also appear on Strictly Come Dancing as part of a wider BBC bid to help him become a household name. Using Strictly to raise the profile of young stars is a tactic bosses have used before.

Fearne Cotton (pictured) is set to join Radio 2's roster

Fearne Cotton (pictured) is set to join Radio 2’s roster

Last year, former rugby player Ugo Monye and deaf EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis were given spots on the dance show while employed by the Beeb.

Others to join Radio 2’s list are Fearne Cotton, 40, Owain Wyn Evans, 38, and OJ Borg, 43 – full name Oliver James Borg D’Anastasi – who hosts an overnight show but is filling in for Wright and Charles .

Their combined median age is 38.75, while the median age of Feltz, O’Grady, Charles, and Wright is 63.25.

Ms Cotton, who already has a music show on the network, is highly rated by bosses, while Wyn Evans, who is also a weather presenter, has been filling in for Ms Feltz for some time.

Radio 2 recently ran shows for RuPaul’s Drag Race UK judge Michelle Visage, 53, Waterloo Road actress Angela Griffin, 46, and DJ Spoony, 52. Former Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, 49, will replace Wright.

A BBC insider said: “It’s so obvious what’s going on here – these younger hosts will be tested over the summer, which is perfect timing for it. But the age difference between them and the departing bunch is enormous.’

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Sources close to Paul O’Grady (pictured), 68, have told The Mail on Sunday that he believes there is an age issue with his departure

Sources close to O’Grady, 68, have told The Mail on Sunday that he believes there is an age issue with his departure.

He had to share his seat with comedian Rob Beckett, 36, with each taking three months off for three months.

Recent departures have led to much criticism that Radio 2 is decrepit.

In July, former BBC radio presenter David Hamilton, 83, said of the decision to remove Wright from his show: “You can’t be sexist, you can’t be racist, but it seems you can be age appropriate.”

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11177027/BBC-Radio-2-engulfed-ageism-row-25-year-age-gap-ousted-DJs-new-presenters.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 BBC Radio 2 is mired in a 25-year age gap between ousted DJs and new presenters

Emma Colton

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