Colourful TV racing pundit John McCririck has lost his age discrimination employment tribunal case against Channel 4.
The 73-year-old, famous for his whiskers and Deer Stalker hat, argued that he was sacked by the broadcaster last year because of his age.
However, a Central London Employment Tribunal panel ruled against him.
“This is an historic setback for all employees in their 30s to their 70s,” said McCririck.
“After such a landmark judicial verdict, my failed legal action ensures that anonymous suits and skirts, who control the media, numerous other businesses and the public sector, will now enjoy complete freedom to replace older employees whatever their unimpaired ability and merit,” he told the Press Association.
“I have let them all down along with my wife, the Booby, my legal team, friends, colleagues and countless members of the public who supported me throughout. My grateful thanks and apologies to every one of them.
“Former Labour home secretary David Blunkett MP said in August: ‘The way TV executives worship the cult of youth seems to be an unstoppable fetish’. It is now.
“With my legal team we are now out of contact while studying the judgment in detail.”
The tribunal proved very embarrassing for Channel 4 with a number of facts emerging that the broadcaster would have preferred to have kept quiet.
These included plans by Jamie Aitchison, the commissioning editor for sport at Channel 4, to recruit fashion presenter Gok Wan for the racing coverage.
McCririck was taking action against both Channel 4 and production company IMG over his dismissal, which he claims was solely down to ageism.
In March 2012, the broadcaster landed the rights to air all UK horseracing events for the following year. IMG took over the production of the channel’s racing coverage on 1 January and declined to give McCririck a contract.