‘It’s a hard time to be a white bloke in his 60s’: Eamonn Homes slams ‘youth-obsessed’ BBC and reveals he told ex-bosses to ‘f*** off’ after they told him he attracted too many old listeners
Eamonn Holmes has slammed the ‘youth obsessed’ BBC and revealed he told ex-bosses to ‘f*** off’ after they said he attracted too many old listeners.
The TV presenter, 63, was ousted by Radio 5 for ‘attracting the wrong type of people’ in 2009.
Holmes told Kay Adams’s How To Be 60 podcast: ‘It’s a hard time to be a white bloke in his 60s, absolutely without a doubt.
‘No one’s interested in casting you, no one’s interested in planning a programme around you, no one’s interested in your experience. You do not tick the right boxes for them in terms of your sexuality, your ethnicity.
‘You’re bottom of the list when it comes to choices. I read things like, ‘Eamonn is male, pale and stale’ and I think, ‘What are you talking about?’ I see myself as top of my game.’
Eamonn Holmes has criticised ‘youth obsessed’ TV bosses for not giving jobs to white, middle-aged men
Holmes said Radio 2 legend 72-year-old Ken Bruce’s (pictured) decision to follow Steve Wright, Paul O’Grady and Vanessa Feltz out of the BBC highlights its ageism issues. Bruce is leaving Radio 2 next month
Last month Vanessa Feltz, 60, accused the BBC of ‘ageism’ after it was claimed Ken Bruce turned down a contract and quit Radio 2 because of the ‘seemingly ever-younger DJs’ bosses brought in and its ‘edgier’ playlist
He added: ‘In our industry, this obsession television has with youth is laughable.’
The presenter revealed a BBC Radio Live boss took him for lunch in 2009 and told him he was attracting too many old listeners.
‘So we lasted the first course, then I basically told him to f*** off and that was the end of that,’ he said.
‘I’d carry on working until my 70s. I feel I’ve got lots to contribute, I’m across world events. I don’t think I’m an old fuddy duddy.’
Holmes said Radio 2 legend 72-year-old Ken Bruce’s decision to follow Steve Wright, Paul O’Grady and Vanessa Feltz out of the BBC illuminates its ageism issues.
Former BBC 2 anchor Steve Wright, 68, announced he was leaving the show in November last year after 23 years
Paul O’Grady, 67, stepped down from his BBC Radio 2 show in August last year
The presenter of Breakfast with Eammon and Isabel on GB News, 63, spoke two years after he and his wife Ruth Langsford were replaced by Alison Hammond, 48, and Dermot O’Leary, 49, on ITV’s This Morning.
Last month Vanessa Feltz, 60, accused the BBC of ‘ageism’ after it was claimed Ken Bruce turned down a contract and quit Radio 2 because of the ‘seemingly ever-younger DJs’ bosses brought in and its ‘edgier’ playlist.
The star broadcaster is leaving the corporation next month after 45 years – and his mid-morning show after 31 years – taking his beloved PopMaster quiz with him to Greatest Hits Radio.
Fans were left in tears and have vowed never to listen to Radio 2 again when Ken’s contract ends in March.
But his exit has left the BBC at the centre of another ageism storm as another of its biggest stars for decades walked away.
Ms Feltz claimed that she was cut loose by the Beeb after she passed 60.
She said that older presenters are ‘not valued in the same way’, commenting: ‘The music isn’t as appealing because they’ve changed it to appeal to a younger crowd they’re so desperate to get’.
She added on ITV’s This Morning: ‘Think of all of the people who have left: Paul O’Grady’s gone. I’ve gone. Steve Wright’s there, but not much. Chris Evans has left. Graham Norton too’.