Former newsreader Peter Sissons has waded into the BBC sexism debate – saying that he thinks men and women of all ages are treated badly by the Corporation.

Peter’s comments come after broadcaster Selina Scott, 59, accused the BBC of “blatant ageism and sexism”.

She told the Daily Telegraph that women were “rarely told outright that you are not wanted”, adding that business was “conducted by whispers in corridors.”

But in a letter to the same paper, Peter, 68, said that such treatment was “the BBC way” and that it went “from top to bottom of the organisation, regardless of age or gender”.

Peter added that he had encountered a “sly” management style “for many years”, reports bbc.co.uk.

He revealed: “It was a bitter complaint that I heard regularly during the 20 years I worked in the newsroom.

“Hundreds of demoralised people at Television Centre will testify to this.”

The BBC has declined to comment.

In 2008, Selina won an out-of-court settlement from Five for age discrimination after she was dropped as maternity-leave cover for 37-year-old Natasha Kaplinsky.