Judi Spiers
Judi Spiers has lost her job at BBC Radio Devon.BBC

The BBC faces fresh accusations of sexism and ageism after reportedly sacking Judi Spiers, one of the longest-serving woman presenters.

Spiers was told by management that she would no longer be hosting the BBC Radio Devon show she had hosted since 2005.

On 22 June, Spiers told her listeners: "I've got something fairly important to announce. I am deeply saddened to tell you that after 15 years broadcasting here at BBC Radio Devon this is to be my last week.

"Words cannot possibly convey just how sad I am to be leaving."

She added: "You don't know how much you mean to me, particularly over the past couple of months which have been extraordinarily difficult indeed.

"We've had some dodgy times as well but on the whole we've had some good ones. "We've had some dark times in recent days but hopefully they'll be blown away."

She is being replaced by David FitzGerald.

A friend of Spiers told the Western Morning News: "The news came as a tremendous shock to Judi. There were no tears but it was hideous."

Listeners' posts on social media included that the BBC was "mad" to get rid of the long-serving presenter and "Judi is Radio Devon".

A twitter account @BringBackJudi called on Judi Spiers' listeners to demand her reinstatement.

Regular listeners started a petition to have Spiers reinstated, and targeted the station's controller, Mark Grinnell, with complaints on social media. Fans began a #bringbackjudi hashtag.

On the station's Facebook page, one message read: "Has the management of Radio Devon completely lost the plot? Apart from being a wonderful presenter, Judi is one of the few people on Radio Devon that actually know anything about Devon and the audience. She will be very sadly missed."

A statement by Radio Devon said: "It's normal for radio stations to change their schedules from time to time; however Judi remains a popular presenter so we offered her some other radio and TV opportunities.

"We hope that she will continue to entertain audiences in the region."

The BBC has been attacked for ageism which came to a head when Miriam O'Reilly won an employment tribunal against the corporation on the grounds of ageism after losing her job on Countryfile.

in November 2013, former Newsnight presenter Olenka Frenkiel claimed that ageism is still rife at the BBC.

Discussing her own departure from the corporation in 2012, she said bosses had tried to force her to sign a gagging order to prevent her from speaking out.

She refused and claimed that she had been sidelined at the BBC, then branded "difficult".

She told The Guardian: "I find it extraordinary that BBC Current Affairs still claims it's trying to find older women - when it's spent the past decade getting rid of us.

"I don't like it that the greatest broadcasting organisation in the world is getting away with not telling the truth."

A report compiled by the Older Women's Commission, set up by acting Labour leader Harriet Harman, found that of the TV presenters aged over 50, 82% were men.