Former Countryfile presenter Miriam O'Reilly is to return to BBC1 for the first time since winning her age discrimination case against the corporation as one of the faces of a daytime Crimewatch spin-off show.
Crimewatch Roadshow has been commissioned by BBC daytime controller Liam Keelan, who admitted at the presenter's employment tribunal last year that he had not heard of O'Reilly at the time he was looking for a replacement for Countryfile.
O'Reilly will join former detective Rav Wilding on Crimewatch Roadshow, travelling around the country investigating crimes that "can affect us all" including con tricks, burglaries, arsons and muggings.
The live show, which will air across four weeks on BBC1, will also feature 80 "wanted faces" who the police are trying to track down.
O'Reilly said: "I'm delighted to be working on a programme that can really make a difference. Last year's series led to many criminals being arrested. It's a chance for me to use my journalistic skills and I'm really looking forward to getting back to the buzz of live TV."
Keelan added: "I'm delighted to welcome Miriam to the team. Crimewatch Roadshow has gone from strength to strength over the last two years, and I know that Miriam's proven experience as a journalist will only strengthen the series."
The programme aired for the first time in 2009 and was last co-presented by Wilding and Ginny Buckley, a former presenter on Sky News and ITV1's Tonight.
O'Reilly won her case for age discrimination against the BBC after she was dropped from Countryfile as part of a revamp of the rural affairs show when it was moved from Sunday mornings to a new peak-time slot.
She was one of four female presenters, all in their 40s or 50s, who were dropped from the 23-year-old show. The tribunal upheld her claim for age discrimination but not sex discrimination. It also upheld O'Reilly's claim for victimisation.
O'Reilly claimed she was hounded out of the BBC after she was unfairly blamed for newspaper stories criticising the corporation for dropping middle-aged women presenters.
Keelan, giving evidence to the tribunal in November last year, said: "I feel almost ashamed saying this. The very fact I didn't know who [Miriam O'Reilly] was indicates she didn't have a great daytime profile."
The BBC, announcing the third run of Crimewatch Roadshow today, said: "The series covers the kind of everyday crime that dominates frontline policing but rarely features on the news. We also report on some of the initiatives police are taking across the country to deal with some of the commonest crimes."
Article from The Guardian