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TV presenter sues Five for age discrimation

David Woods , 02 Sep 2008

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Television presenter Selina Scott is set to sue Five for up to 1 million for age discrimination.

Scott claims she was lined up to cover presenter Natasha Kaplinsky's maternity leave, but Five did not permit her on grounds of her age.

The channel has denied the allegations.

Mark Taylor, partner at law firm Jones Day, said: "Age discrimination legislation was always bound to [affect] some industries more than others, and the entertainment business is clearly one where executives' preconceptions about viewers' preference will formulate broadcasting policy."

He added: "In this case, unless Five can convince the employment tribunal that there was a cogent business reason for cancelling Scott's contract, it is unlikely to have a strong defence. Even if it has conducted detailed market research confirming viewers' preference for younger presenters, a tribunal is unlikely to look favourably on such reasoning."

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