McCririck Sues Channel 4, IMG Media For Nearly $5M In Damages Over Alleged Ageism
Former Channel 4 horse racing pundit John McCririck is seeking £3M ($4.8M) "in damages for alleged age discrimination over the broadcaster's decision to drop him last year," according to Jason Deans of the London GUARDIAN. McCririck said he was sacked from Channel 4 Racing in October "without any consultation or cogent explanation." He is suing Channel 4 and IMG Sports Media, which took over production of the broadcaster's racing coverage from the start of '13, for £2.5M ($4M) "in punitive damages" and seeking a further £500,000 ($800,900) "in compensation for loss of future earnings, unfair career damaging, public humiliation, stress and mental anguish." A Channel 4 spokesperson said: "We are grateful to John McCririck for his contribution towards the success of Channel 4 Racing over many years. However, we reject the suggestion that discrimination on the basis of age played any part in the decision not to renew his freelance contract, and we will be vigorously defending this claim" (GUARDIAN, 1/9). In London, Marcus Townend wrote McCririck, who was arguably the best known face on C4 racing with appeal reaching far beyond the normal boundaries of the sport, "was one of several familiar faces not retained when C4 changed the company producing their racing output from Highflyer to IMG Sports Media." Others "who lost out included John Francome, Alastair Down, Derek Thompson and Mike Cattermole" (DAILY MAIL, 1/9).