AS IF the storm surrounding Jeremy Clarkson was not enough to deal with, BBC bosses appear to have an ageism row on their hands sparked by the queen of pop herself.
Madonna has accused Radio 1 controllers of snubbing her latest single Living for Love because she is in her fifties.
The star has been missed off the station’s playlist despite the fact that she is set to notch up her 12th UK number one album with Rebel Heart.
Radio 1 – which has an audience of mainly 15 to 29-year-olds – said it decides the playlist based on ‘musical merit’ and ‘relevance to listeners’.
But Madonna, who provided the most memorable moment of this year’s BRIT award ceremony when she fell on-stage, blamed bias against older artists.
She said: “My manager said to me, ‘If you’re not in your 20s, it’s hard. You might get your record played in your 30s. There’s a handful of people who do – Pharrell got lucky.
“But if you’re in your 50s, you can forget it’.”
A statement from Radio 1 said: “The tracks are chosen on musical merit and their relevance to our young audience on a case-by-case basis, and whilst around 40 per cent of the country’s 15 to 29-year-olds tune into Radio 1 each week, an artist’s age is never a factor. The song is not currently on our playlist.”
Living For Love, which was released ahead of schedule due to internet leaks, has been played on Radio 1 in a show when presenters choose tracks not on the playlist, and on the official chart.
It was the song she was performing at the BRITs when she tumbled in front of millions of viewers after getting caught up in her cape.