News, Culture & Society

The gender age gap on British TV

TV’s gender AGE gap revealed: Male presenters are twice as likely to be employed past the age of 50 as women – with up to 22 YEARS difference between presenters on popular shows

  • Research conducted by Dr Judy Todd who works at University Hospital in Ayr
  • Women less than half as likely to be employed after 50-years-old than men 
  • Age gap has grown in decade and now nearly eight years between genders 
  • Data found quarter of female presenters are over 50, while over half of men are 

The age gap between male and female presenters on British TV has grown significantly in the past decade and women are only half as likely as their male colleagues to be employed past the age of 50, according to new research. 

Dr Judy Todd, a consultant anaesthetist from University Hospital in Ayr, Scotland, found that the gender age gap has grown to an average of seven years and 11 months, and only a quarter of female TV presenters are employed over the age of 50, whereas more than half of male presenters are 50 plus.

Meanwhile, figures are even more pronounced for the over 60s with only 3.1 per cent of female presenters still working at that age, whereas 18.3 per cent of male presenters are still employed after the age of 60. 

The age gap on the ITV show This Morning is 11 years between Philip Schofield aged 57 and Holly Willoughby, 38 (pictured)

In the past ten years the gender age gap has increased by nearly two years and the average age of female TV presenters is 44 years and one month, whereas for men it is 52-years-old.

Dr Judy explained: ‘Our gender age gap research has exposed a glass ceiling of opportunity for women on TV after the age of 50.’

‘The vast majority of women are basically being written off when they reach 50 and it’s hard to see any other reason for this other than they don’t look as telegenic, attractive and youthful as they used to.’

‘This is clearly not something that the male presenters have to deal with as their careers are more than twice as likely to continue into their 50s and 60s

AVERAGE AGES

The average age of female presenters has risen since 2010 from 40 years two months and average male presenters’ age was 46 years nine months.

It has not kept pace with the rate of increase of men’s ages and the age gap has grown 18% from six years seven months to seven years and 10 months today.

Last year the broadcasting industry was rocked by the gender pay gap scandal which showed that women earned up to 22 per cent less than male colleagues doing the same job, but now another major disparity of working conditions has been exposed.   

The gender age gap was seen to run across most sectors of broadcasting including entertainment, sports and news and current affairs. 

‘The gender age gap has grown significantly in the past 10 years and something needs to be done to prevent what is a clear case of discrimination.’ 

‘It is not just a problem in the broadcasting industry. There is growing discrimination for mature women in the UK to get jobs and promotions after they hit 50.’

‘Many of my female clients in their mid to late 40s tell me that job opportunities for women become seriously reduced after 50, which is one of the main reasons why they are having aesthetic rejuvenation treatments.’

The data was compiled by analysing regular presenting staff on TV programmes on terrestrial television channels in 2019, taking the average age of the male presenting team and the female presenting team to find the gap between them. 

The only mainstream show on terrestrial TV which had older female presenters than the men was Bake Off on Channel 4. 

X FACTOR AGE GAP: 22.5 YEARS 

Male judges

 Simon Cowell: 60

Louis Walsh: 67

Average male age: 63 

Female judges

Nicole Scherzinger: 41

 

Average female age: 41

The X Factor judges - including Simon Cowell, 60, and Louis Walsh, 67, Nicole Scherzinger is 41 (pictured)

The X Factor judges – including Simon Cowell, 60, and Louis Walsh, 67, Nicole Scherzinger is 41 (pictured)

CHANNEL 4 NEWS AGE GAP: 14 YEARS, 8 MONTHS 

Male presenters

Jon Snow: 72 

Matt Frei: 55 

Krishnan Guru-Murthy: 49

Average male age: 58 

Female presenters 

Cathy Newman: 45

Jackie Long: 53

Fatima Maji: 34 

Average female age: 44 

The Channel 4 news team. Pictured: Krishnan Guru-Murthy, 49, Jon Snow, 72, Matt Frei, 55, Cathy Newman, 45, and Jackie Long, 53

The Channel 4 news team. Pictured: Krishnan Guru-Murthy, 49, Jon Snow, 72, Matt Frei, 55, Cathy Newman, 45, and Jackie Long, 53

THIS MORNING AGE GAP: 19 YEARS

Male presenter 

Philip Schofield: 57 

Average male age: 57 

Female presenter 

Holly Willoughby: 38 

Average female age: 38 

Holly Willoughby is 19 years younger than her This Morning co-star Philip Schofield

Holly Willoughby is 19 years younger than her This Morning co-star Philip Schofield

 

STRICTLY COME DANCING AGE GAP: 10 YEARS  

Male judges 

Bruno Tonioli: 63

Craig Revel Horwood: 54

Average male age: 58.5 

Female judges 

Shirley Ballas: 59 

Motsi Mabuse: 38 

Average female age: 48.5  

The Strictly Come Dancing judging panel: Left to right: Craig Revel Horwood, 54, Motsi Mabuse, 38, Shirley Ballas, 59, and Bruno Tonioli, 63

The Strictly Come Dancing judging panel: Left to right: Craig Revel Horwood, 54, Motsi Mabuse, 38, Shirley Ballas, 59, and Bruno Tonioli, 63

BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT AGE GAP: 9.5 YEARS 

Male judges

Simon Cowell: 60

David Walliams: 48

Average male age: 54 years 

Female judges 

Amanda Holden: 48 

Alesha Dixon: 41 

Average female age: 44.5 years 

The Britain's Got Talent panel - including David Walliams, 48, Alesha Dixon, 41, Amanda Holden, 48, and Simon Cowell, 60. Pictured at auditions in 2013

The Britain’s Got Talent panel – including David Walliams, 48, Alesha Dixon, 41, Amanda Holden, 48, and Simon Cowell, 60. Pictured at auditions in 2013

SKY NEWS AGE GAP: 9 YEARS 2 MONTHS 

Male presenters 

Dermot Murnaghan: 61

Mark Austin: 61

Adam Boulton: 60 

Ian King: 53

Colin Brazier: 51 

Average male age: 57 years 2 months

Female presenters 

Kay Burley: 58 

Anna Botting: 52

Jayne Secker: 47

Emma Crosby: 42 

Sarah Jane Mee: 41

Average female age: 48

Adam Boulton, 60, pictured right with Sophy Ridge, was amongst the men considered in the age gap research

Adam Boulton, 60, pictured right with Sophy Ridge, was amongst the men considered in the age gap research 

 

BBC OLYMPICS TEAM AGE GAP: 8 YEARS 3 MONTHS 

Male presenters 

Sir Steve Redgrave: 57

John Inverdale: 62 

Jonathan Agnew: 59

Average male age: 51 years 2 months 

Female presenters 

Gabby Logan: 46 

Clare Baldwin: 48 

Helen Skelton: 36 

Average female age: 42 yrs 9 months 

At last year's Olympics, the average age of female presenters and pundits was 42.9, but the male presenting team was 51.2. Those considered included Gabby Logan, 46, and Clare Baldwin, 48 (centre)

At last year’s Olympics, the average age of female presenters and pundits was 42.9, but the male presenting team was 51.2. Those considered included Gabby Logan, 46, and Clare Baldwin, 48 (centre)

 

ITN NEWS AGE GAP: 6 YEARS 9 MONTHS 

Male presenters 

Alastair Stewart: 67 

Tom Bradby: 52 

Rageh Omaar: 52 

Average male age: 57

Female presenters 

Mary Nightingale: 56

Julie Etchingham: 50

Nina Hossain: 45

Average female age: 50 yrs 3 months

The findings found the ITN news presenters have an age gap of six years and eight months. Pictured, Alistair Stewart, 67.

Nina Hossain, 45 was amongst the ITN news female colleagues considered in the findings

The findings found the ITN news presenters have an age gap of six years and eight months. Pictured, Alistair Stewart, 67 (left). Nina Hossain, 45 (right) was amongst the ITN news female colleagues considered in the findings – along with Mary Nightingale, 56 and Julie Etchingham, 50

BBC’S SIX O’CLOCK/ 10 O’CLOCK NEWS AGE GAP: 6 YEARS 

Male presenters 

George Alagiah: 63 

Clive Myrie: 55 

Huw Edwards: 58 

Clive Myrie: 59 

Average male age: 58 years 9 months 

Female presenters 

Sophie Raworth: 51

Fiona Bruce: 55

Reeta Chakrabati: 54

Sophie Raworth: 51 

Average female age: 52 years 9 months

Reeta Chakrabarti (pictured left), 54, was amongst the female presenters considered for BBC's Six O'clock News. Pictured with Jasmin Buttar (centre) and Howell James at the Dods & Scottish Widows Women in Public Life Awards 2008 in London

Reeta Chakrabarti (pictured left), 54, was amongst the female presenters considered for BBC’s Six O’clock News. Pictured with Jasmin Buttar (centre) and Howell James at the Dods & Scottish Widows Women in Public Life Awards 2008 in London

GOOD MORNING BRITAIN AGE GAP:  5 YEARS 6 MONTHS

Male presenters

Piers Morgan: 54

Richard Arnold: 49 

Ben Shephard: 44

Sean Fletcher: 45 

Average male age: 51 years 6 months 

Female presenters 

Suzannah Reid: 48

Charlotte Hawkins: 44

Kate Garraway: 52

Laura Tobin: 38 

Average female age: 46

Good Morning Britain is presented by Piers Morgan, 54, and Suzannah Reid, 48 (pictured together on the show)

Good Morning Britain is presented by Piers Morgan, 54, and Suzannah Reid, 48 (pictured together on the show)

GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF AGE GAP: 20 YEARS 6 MONTHS

Male presenters 

Paul Hollywood: 53 

Noel Fielding: 46 

Average male age: 49 yrs six months 

Female presenters 

Pru Leith: 79 

Sandi Toksvig: 61

Average female age: 70 years

The Great British Bake Off was the only mainstream show on terrestrial TV which had older female presenters. Pictured, Paul Hollywood, 53, and Prue Leith, 79

The Great British Bake Off was the only mainstream show on terrestrial TV which had older female presenters. Pictured, Paul Hollywood, 53, and Prue Leith, 79

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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