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David Dimbleby ageism in TV

David Dimbleby has recently joined the likes of former BBC newsreader Anna Ford and Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly in hitting out at ageism and sexism in television.

As the 74 year old host of BBC One’s Question Time said: ‘I don’t think age should be a factor for women appearing on TV’. Yet there is a distinct lack of older women being offered prime time contacts with the broadcasts for on camera work – so what’s happening?

Is it simply that as women get older that they become faces that are better for radio, or are we so shallow as a nation that we only look at the outer image of those whom we want to appear on television? Well of course it should be about whether the person is capable and best fitted for the job; but then haven’t we all lost deals when we knew we were the best choice?

So there are other influencing factors, particularly in business and particularly in television, video and advertising. It’s a bit too easy to say it’s age and looks that are the decision makers, though they can be subtle influencers, depending on your market!


But knowledge is power, and knowing the influencing factors should make us better equipped to succeed; certainly with video production understanding the subtleties of the potential audience is key to success; generally our clients are far more interested in getting their message across in a memorable and engaging way than in who did the presenting. We’d go as far as to say that if people are worrying about what the presenter looks like, their age or gender, then the production has been misguided and the message not clear enough! Content is key and in a skilled cameraman an editor’s hands the visuals are there to support as a part of the overall impact. Good video production, television and advertising is about the message and not just the pretty pictures!




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