Michael Crick: BBC's youth obsession 'barmy'

Michael Crick, political editor of Newsnight, has laid in to the BBC over its focus with youth, branding the policy ‘barmy’.

Writing in the BBC in-house magazine, Ariel, the 51-year-old journalist said the claim the BBC was ‘Obsessed with youth’ was a ‘gross understatement’.

Crick said: “It’s a barmy policy which shows utter contempt for many of our viewers.

“Commercial channels have to focus on young people as they are the ones susceptible to advertising.

“The BBC should have no such worries. We should respect and cherish our older viewers who are loyal to us, and a growing part of the population.

“The average Newsnight viewer is 55. How many Newsnight staff are older than 55? Jeremy Paxman and one or two others.”

Accusations of BBC ageism were brought centre stage last month when the corporation axed 66-year-old Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips and replaced her with a younger judge.

Phillips has since been appointed as the government’s ‘dance champion’ to encourage more people to join dance classes.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “These views are his [Crick’s] own and the Ariel article shows that the majority of respondents disagreed with him.”

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