Veteran newsreader Moira Stuart is to leave the staff of BBC news, the corporation has confirmed.
The BBC confirmed that Moira, who had been at the corporation for 34 years, would be going to “work on a wider range of projects”.
But the news comes amid renewed claims that Moira is a victim of ageism.
The BBC’s first black female newsreader, Moira was most recently a regular on BBC1’s Sunday AM, but lost the slot in March. Prior to that she was ‘dumped’ from her role on BBC Breakfast News. Both decisions are thought to be because of her age.
A friend of Moira told the Daily Mirror newspaper on Wednesday that the presenter had been “deeply hurt” by the BBC’s “shoddy” treatment of her, adding: “Clearly, if you are a woman in TV over 40 at the BBC – start worrying.”
BBC bosses deny they are ageist, citing Sue Barker, Kirsty Wark, Sue Macgregor and Sarah Kennedy as examples of “more experienced female presenters”.
Helen Boaden, the BBC news director, paid tribute to Stuart. “Throughout her 30-plus years at the BBC Moira has achieved a great deal,” she said.
“She has always been a model professional as well as being much loved and admired by both the public and her BBC colleagues. Everyone in BBC news wishes her all the best for the future.”
Stuart started her BBC career as a production assistant, in radio’s talks and documentaries department before moving on to become a Radio 4 announcer and newsreader and a programme presenter on Radio 2.
She had previously presented the 5.40, Six, Nine and News After Noon bulletins.
It is not known what other BBC projects Stuart has lined up, although there is speculation that ITV is also interested in working with her.