Williams, who co-hosted BBC Breakfast and is about to join Radio 4, said she disagreed with female presenters being handed jobs merely to fill quotas.

“I’m against tokenism - women shouldn’t be on TV because of their age, but because of their experience,” she told Radio Times.

The BBC has faced accusations of ageism since Arlene Phillips was removed from the Strictly Come Dancing panel in favour of Alesha Dixon, a singer less than half her age. Miriam O’Reilly won an age discrimination case against the corporation after she was made redundant from her job on Countryfile.

In response to the criticism, the BBC announced the hiring of several older women to read bulletins on the BBC News Channel. But two of them, Fiona Armstrong and Carole Walker, complained that they were only given a handful of shifts.

“I only do a few days a year so it is a bit token. Mark Thompson said they had to take on older women newscasters but they really haven’t got any jobs for us,” Armstrong said, while Walker complained: “Those who warned the initiative was nothing more than a PR stunt after the Miriam O’Reilly tribunal are being proved right.”

Thompson has conceded there are “manifestly too few older women broadcasting on the BBC” and promised to “develop and cherish” female presenting talent.

Williams, 47, declined the move to Salford when BBC Breakfast relocated. Instead, she has a new job as co-host of Radio 4’s magazine show, Saturday Live. She will also present BBC One news bulletins and return to the breakfast slot for the duration of the Olympics.

Asked if she would like to present Radio 4’s Today programme one day, Williams replied: “That would be interesting. I wonder what that would be like?

“I think anyone would like to present the Today programme - there would be a queue.”

Article from Telegraph