Selina Scott in age discrimination row with Channel Five

Newsreader Selina Scott is set to sue Channel Five for age discrimination after claiming she was lined up as maternity cover for Natasha Kaplinsky on Five News but rejected for being too old.

Newspaper reports claim that Scott, 57, is seeking compensation under age discrimination legislation.

Reports claim Five went back on an agreement that she would cover for Kaplinsky when she goes on maternity leave later this month. Channel Five said it was “vigorously defending” the claim.

The case is understood to have been listed at the Central London Employment Tribunal in Holborn, with Five director of programmes, Ben Gale, named as a defendant.

The broadcaster announced in June that Kaplinsky would be replaced by the fresh-faced Isla Traquair, 28, and Matt Barbet, 32.

Kaplinsky courted controversy by revealing she was pregnant just weeks after signing a multi-million pound contract with Five News in February.

Earlier this year veteran newsreader Scott hit out at ageism in television news. “How many women are there on mainstream current affairs programmes who are over 50?” she said.

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