BBC names Dame Edna Everage as new Buzzcocks host as ageism row rages

14 Jan

Dame Edna Everage, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, BBC, Miriam O'Reilly, Seleb Spy 2011, selebspy.com

THE BBC has named Australian comedienne Dame Edna Everage as the new permanent host of Never Mind the Buzzcocks in an attempt to counter accusations that the corporation discriminates against older female broadcasters.

The move comes just days after ex-Countryfile host Miriam O’Reilly won an employment tribunal against the BBC on the grounds of ageism.

The 53-year-old claimed she had been unfairly dropped from the rural affairs show when it moved to a primetime Sunday evening slot just because she had wrinkles and a few grey hairs, and pissed herself on air whenever she laughed.

Creative Director for the BBC, Alan Yentob said: “In the case of the dismissal of Miriam O’Reilly, we didn’t get it right.

“You can’t sack someone just because they have bladder weakness and enjoy listening to Phil Collins CDs in their dressing room.

“We are now going to endeavour to make the faces of the BBC as representative of Britain’s diverse society as possible.

“And that includes employing more older female presenters on prime time programmes, such as Dame Edna on Buzzcocks.”

The 73-year-old Australian follows in the footsteps of previous hosts of the usually male-dominated BBC 2 music quiz, Mark Lamarr and Simon Amstell.

Speaking exclusively to Seleb Spy, Dame Edna said: “Darling, I am absolutely delighted to be hosting Never Buzz the Mindcocks and cannot wait to get started.

“I think it is wonderful that the BBC has chosen a woman of my age to host such a hip, young show.

“Having said that, I do hope that Noel Fielding fellow doesn’t try to stick his didgeridoo up my Ramsay Street. That would be most inappropriate.”

The BBC has promised to hire more women over 50 in the coming months.

Esther Rantzen, Seleb Spy, SelebSpy.com 2011

Melvin "Esther" Rantzen, retired car mechanic from Brighton. Performing at the Two Brewers in Clapham this Saturday.

Yentob said: “We are committed to investing in more mature female talent.

“That’s why only today I’ve ordered a shed-load of Tena Lady, Horlicks, Berocca and potpourri in preparation.”

It is rumoured that broadcaster and children’s campaigner Esther Rantzen had originally been approached to be the new host of Buzzcocks, however the offer was later withdrawn after the BBC realised that ‘Esther’ is actually a retired mechanic from Brighton called Melvin in drag.

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