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Angela's fears about sexism and ageism have melted

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    Posted: 21 Dec 2010 at 09:38

Angela Rippon's fears about sexism and ageism on TV seem to have melted way

By Rachel Quigley
Last updated at 9:00 AM on 21st December 2010

Claims of ageism and sexism at the BBC cut no ice with Angela Rippon these days. 

In a frilly skirted red dress, gliding effortlessly around an ice rink, she believes she is the perfect example of an older woman still enjoying her prime time on TV.

The 66-year-old former BBC newsreader is joining the cast of ITV’s Dancing On Ice, to be shown in January.


Perfect example: Angela Rippon is still enjoying her time on TV and is set to skate on ITV's Dancing on Ice in the new year

And with roles on the BBC’s Cash in the Attic, Cash in the Celeb Attic and new show Rip Off Britain, it seems some of her previous concerns about the demise of older women on TV have melted away.

In fact she points out that she has never been out of work in her 43-year television career, and claims it is all down to ability.


‘Let me set the record straight where telly is concerned. I am currently employed by the BBC and ITV, there are not many people who can say that,’ she said.

‘I have just finished filming Rip Off Britain with Gloria Hunniford, who is 70, and Jennie Bond, who is 60, and it is hugely popular, and all of us are over 60.


Doing battle: Angela is the oldest of the 16 celebrities who will star in the ITV show, which starts on January 9

‘As of January 5 it will be on BBC1 at 7.30 in the evening - prime time - and run for 20 weeks every Wednesday. So you will actually have three women, all with careers spanning decades, on a popular prime-time TV show for five months and I can tell you it will be public broadcasting at its best because it is a consumer programme. What sometimes people forget is that one of the reasons why you are not employed on television will have nothing actually to do with your age and everything to do with your skill. 

‘In 43 years I have never stopped work and I am still working, every day on daytime television, and now you will have three of us on prime time. You can make of that what you will. Don’t write us off just yet!’

Speaking about being the eldest of the 16 contestants to squeeze themselves into tiny costumes and perform a variety of routines on Dancing on Ice, which will start on January 9 on ITV, she said: ‘I’ve always said I wanted to grow old disgracefully and I have less years ahead of me when I can do things like this that are a major challenge for me.


Don't look down: Angela has done numerous extraordinary and challenging things over the length of her career, including rock climbing to promote activities for the over 50s

'But I am fit and supple and I have done some extraordinary, challenging things in my time and I am just having so much fun with this. Being in my sixties I have to take it carefully but if I inspire the older audience to go out there and do something then that is a bonus.’

Miss Rippon took part in an internal seminar on ageism at the BBC in January last year entitled Age Before Beauty. She claimed that when she tackled the then Director General of the BBC John Birt about her diminishing role, he put his arm around her and said: ‘The thing is Angela, you’ve got to understand your time is over.’

Speaking about the issue in the past she said: ‘In broadcasting, there are levels of age discrimination. There are men over 60 but very, very few women. Talent should not be allowed to go to waste.’ 

The issue has featured strongly in the case of former Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly, 53, who is suing the BBC for sex and age discrimination after losing her job when the show was moved to a prime-time slot.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1340378/Dancing-Ices-Angela-Rippons-fears-sexism-ageism-TV-melted-way.html#ixzz18jmdcTQ0
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