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Fern warns young stars: TV not a job for life

TV host Fern Britton says presenters should accept that they may be dumped from programmes for being too old -- and they are not in a job for life.

The former This Morning star -- soon to launch an afternoon Channel 4 show -- said there is a "natural end" to screen careers, like those faced by sports stars.

Her comments come in the wake of Miriam O'Reilly's "ageism" tribunal win against the BBC earlier this year after she was dropped from Countryfile.

And last month former newsreader Anna Ford voiced criticism about how older male presenters -- "charming dinosaurs such as Mr Dimbleby and John Simpson" -- continued to get contracts but women did not.

"However hard I look, I fail to see any woman of the same age, the same intelligence and the same rather baggy looks," Ford said.

But Britton said: "Sometimes there's a natural end to anyone's career, male or female, and you have to be very gracious when you accept it's coming because we are all freelancers, we are not in a job for life.

"Sportsmen don't moan and groan that they are thrown out of their clubs when they reach 32. It's the reality.

"Sometimes, when you get older, you have to think, it's their turn, I've had my turn."

Britton said she refuses to have any treatments to make her look more youthful to lengthen her TV career.

The presenter -- who famously had a gastric band fitted to help her lose weight -- said: "I know we should all be going on until we're 106 but I'm not going to be having any Botox or fillers or a facelift because I have the face I should have for the age I am."

hnews@herald.ie