Protesting pensioners have lobbied MediaCityUK to oppose the BBC’s alleged ageist policies.
The Salford Pensioners Convention (SPC) picketed the BBC to draw attention to the discrimination that older people have received from the flagship politics show Question Time, despite it being hosted by a man of pensionable age.
The protest was held on Friday evening, as it marked the show’s host, David Dimbleby’s, 73rd birthday.
The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has campaigned for two years to get on the programme in order to represent the views of millions of elderly people, but it has been rejected time and again.
Dot Gibson, leads the pressure group, said: "We were told our representatives wouldn't be able to cope with the lights and the stress of a live broadcast.
“It's ridiculous and condescending and smacks of ageism."
Previous panellists have included comedians, footballers, and Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party.
Alice Searle, the newly appointed Chair of the SPC, said denying that pensioners have a valid contribution to make was offensive and a waste of resources.
She said: “It’s as if they’re saying, ‘You might as well sit in your chair and die.’”
There are currently 11 million pensioners in the UK, a demographic the NPC says has never been represented on Question Time.
Ms Searle cited several high profile broadcasters of pensionable age who can indeed cope with the lights and the stress: David Attenborough, John Humphries, Paul McCartney.
She is a university lecturer and had herself been a broadcaster for many years, appearing on Manchester’s Channel M and the BBC.
The SPC were joined by the pressure group Salford Against Cuts (SAC) outside the main entrance to the BBC North headquarters.
The SPC shares a common purpose with SAC in opposing cuts that will affect elderly people, and ensuring that the voices of minorities are heard.
Ms Gibson said: "We have accused the BBC of ageism in the past as it seems they don't want to acknowledge our existence or our right to a voice in society."
Indeed, the BBC was unwilling to recognise the presence of the protesters last night, perhaps in an effort not to draw attention to the issue.
After an hour, Helen Teague, the duty manager at the BBC, met with them and was asked to recognise that what had been said was offensive.
Ms Searle said: “Do you not realise that the reasons the BBC gave for not allowing us on Question Time were offensive?”
The organiser of the protest, Derek Barton, asked Ms Teague if the BBC would cancel the Queen’s speech, and what she thought of the Queen claiming heating allowance.
Ms Teague did not respond to the questions.
A BBC spokesperson said earlier this year: "Question Time prides itself on representing all sections of society.
"Both the Question Time panel and audience are chosen to reflect a wide range of demographics which includes pensioners.”
The NPC has 1.5 million members and has picketed at editions of Question Time across the country since May.