Half of the country – including a majority of women – think there are too few women over 50 on television
On Tuesday veteran BBC presenter David Dimbleby slammed broadcasters for shutting out talented older women from television jobs and said television executives are told, “young women will bring in bigger audiences”. Earlier in May a report for the Older Women’s Commission found that 82% of presenters aged over 50 are men.
New YouGov research has found that while only 13% of Britons think there are not enough older men on television, fully half (50%) of all British adults think there are not enough older women.
Women and older voters are particularly dissatisfied with the proportion of women on TV. 57% of women and six in ten (60%) voters aged over 60 say there are too few women over 50 on television, compared to 42% of men and 38% of voters aged between 18 and 24 who say the same. However, voters of every demographic group were far less likely to think there should be more men on television than think there should be more women: only 13% of men and 11% of voters aged between 18 and 24 say there are too few older men.
This is not the first time Dimbleby, 74, has become involved in the public debate over ageism in broadcasting. In 2011 then-67 year old Anna Ford openly wondered why “charming dinosaurs” like Dimbleby were winning new contracts with the BBC instead of women with “the same intelligence and the same rather baggy looks”.