According to aggrieved former Channel 4 Racing pundit John McCririck, he is entitled to damages for age discrimination of £3m since he was not retained by new producers IMG Sports Media when they took over TV horse racing coverage from Highflyer Productions on 1 January 2013. He says he is being represented on a no win no fee basis by specialist employment and sports law solicitor Stephen Beverley of West End firm Cavendish Legal Group.
Following the BBC’s abandonment of racing coverage, including the Derby, Royal Ascot and the Grand National, the new Channel 4 contract brings with it exclusive terrestrial coverage of racing on the Channel. Perhaps not surprisingly the team selected is drawn from both the prior BBC and C4 racing teams and among those not selected (in addition to Mr McCririck) were C4’s Derek “Tommo” Thompson (62) and the BBC’s Willie Carson (70).
72 year old McCririck issued a statement on 9 January:
Channel 4 and production company IMG Sports Media were yesterday each served a letter before action for age discrimination. After 29 years with Channel 4 Racing, on a rolling annual contract, I have been sacked without any consultation or cogent explanation. I am 72.