The eventual cost to the BBC of the case is likely to be well over £100,000.

The figure for external legal costs, of £44,740.03 plus VAT, was paid to just one barrister, Jason Galbraith-Marten, who represented the BBC at the 12-day employment tribunal hearing.

The corporation instructed Mr Galbraith-Marten through its own legal department rather than instructing an external firm of solicitors, but will have incurred hundreds of hours of its own lawyers’ time in preparing for the case.

Mr Galbraith-Marten was named a “star individual” for employment law in this year’s authoritative Chambers & Partners directory of the legal profession.

The BBC must also pay compensation to O’Reilly for loss of earnings and hurt feelings.

O’Reilly sued the BBC claiming age discrimination after she was dismissed from the BBC One programme Countryfile when it was moved from Sunday mornings to a peak-time slot in 2008.

An employment tribunal found in her favour last month.

A BBC spokesman said: “As we said at the time, we accept the findings of the Tribunal and have apologised to Miriam. We are discussing with Miriam how we can work with her in the future. The BBC is committed to fair selection in every aspect of our work and we clearly did not get it right in this case.

“The BBC has its own in house legal teams just as it does for Editorial Policy and other departments. This is entirely consistent with the way we work across the business helping to ensure we make the most of our in house expertise as well as keep costs down.” 

Article from The Telegraph