The appointment by the BBC of the veteran reporters Julia Somerville and Fiona Armstrong was seen as a well-timed response to accusations of ageism at the corporation.
However, the Daily Mail claimed today that both reporters, who returned to screens just days ago, are only on 30-day contracts.
The news comes just under three weeks after the Times reported that journalist Miriam O’Reilly was to sue the corporation for age and sexual discrimination after she was one of four female presenters dropped from the Countryfile rural affairs programme.
Mark Thompson, BBC director general, recently called on BBC management to hire more older women, including a newsreader, to counter accusations of ageism.
His call resulted in the return of Moira Stuart as the newsreader on Chris Evans’ Radio 2 breakfast show.