John McCririck taken to hospital after collapsing at Cheltenham Festival

Racing pundit McCririck taken to hospital after collapsing at Cheltenham Festival

By
Louise Eccles

PUBLISHED:

18:49 GMT, 12 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:40 GMT, 12 March 2013

Television pundit John McCririck has been taken to hospital after collapsing at Cheltenham Festival.

The 72-year-old will spend the night at Cheltenham General Hospital where he will undergo tests but his condition is not said to be serious.

McCririck isn't presenting Channel 4's coverage of the four-day festival for the first time in 30 years after it was revealed in January that he wouldn't be part of the corporation's broadcasting team.

His wife blamed his collapse on the stress of being sacked by Channel 4. McCririck is currently suing the channel for 3m for ageism and loss of earnings.

Taken to hospital: John McCririck collapsed on day one of the Cheltenham Festival

Taken to hospital: John McCririck collapsed on day one of the Cheltenham Festival

Taken to hospital: John McCririck collapsed on day one of the Cheltenham Festival

The 72-year-old – who was dropped by
Channel 4 in favour of a new racing team headed by Clare Balding –
called his wife before the last race today to say he felt unwell.

As he walked to meet her, he
apparently took a turn for the worse and had to be treated at the edge
of the parade ring by paramedics. He was then taken to hospital in an
ambulance.

Prior to his collapse, McCririck was
seen sitting in the media centre alone, looking glum. He rose
periodically to smoke a cigar on the balcony outside.

The commentator claims he was axed by
Channel 4 for being too old. In a statement issued in January, he said:
‘After 29 years with Channel 4 Racing, on a rolling annual contract, I
have been sacked without any consultation or cogent explanation. I am
72. For loss of future earnings, unfair career damaging, public
humiliation, stress and mental anguish, I will be seeking 500,000.

John McCririck

John McCririck's wife

Ill: McCririck complained to his wife about feeling unwell before taking a turn for the worse

‘Ageism is illegal. For tens of
thousands of employees it has become the feared scourge of our society.
This litigation should prove to be a watershed.

‘There’s no upper limit to the amount of damages employment tribunals can award under the Equality Act 2010.

‘I am seeking a further exemplary,
punitive 2.5m, part of which will be donated to charitable
organisations helping to prevent negative prejudice in the workplace.’

Channel 4 denied the allegations and said they would ‘vigorously’ defend the claim.