O'Reilly and Bradbury in ageism row

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Miriam O'Reilly has been involved in a spat with fellow Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury over ageism Miriam O'Reilly has been involved in a spat with fellow Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury over ageism

TV presenter Miriam O'Reilly has hit out at Julia Bradbury in a row over age discrimination.

Bradbury, 43, infuriated 57-year-old O'Reilly after suggesting in a newspaper interview that her fellow Countryfile star was not a victim of ageism.

O'Reilly won an age discrimination case against the BBC in 2011 over the decision to drop her from the rural affairs show.

Former Watchdog host Bradbury and Matt Baker were among new presenters who joined the revamped programme while John Craven was kept on.

When Bradbury suggested that the older presenter's departure was to do with changes to the show's format, O'Reilly accused Bradbury, who has been dubbed the "walking man's crumpet", of "arse-licking" and advised her to "look at the legal case (because) one day you might need it".

The row began after Bradbury, asked whether she was uncomfortable with her Countryfile role following the furore over O'Reilly, told The Times newspaper: "It wasn't something we were instantly aware of.

"Also, we didn't know at that stage that Miriam was going to react in the way she did... I've been through millions of programme changes where they say 'Sorry, love, we've changed the slot.' It happened with Watchdog: they brought Anne Robinson back."

She added: "With Miriam, the decision certainly wasn't made because she was old. The decision was because they were changing the programme."

O'Reilly hit back, writing to Bradbury on Twitter: "You say the decision to drop me from Countryfile was not because I was 'old'.

"So you know better than three judges in a legal case and former BBC director-general Mark Thompson who accepted the tribunal decision?

"Before you make ill-informed statements I suggest you look at the legal case - one day you might need it.

"Until then good luck with the arse-licking."

Bradbury recently announced that she was leaving Countryfile to front a five-part series about Britain's landscape for ITV.

O'Reilly was given a deal to return to the corporation after winning her legal case against the BBC, but she left after one year to work on other projects including her charity, Women's Equality Network.

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