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As I See It

Paying the price of BBC excess

Terry smiling headFor an organisation that is constantly moaning about cost pressures and pleading for more funding the BBC sure knows how to comfort its top names.

Is someone reading the news from an autocue really worth more than a fireman saving lives or even the IT man who makes sure the television studio works so they can earn their fat wage packets?

Calling its staff “stars” probably helps the corporation justify the hugely excessive salaries disclosed in a list which also reveals how the Beeb’s bosses seem to have several grades of stars, depending on whether they’re men, women, Asian….

Disparities in salaries paid for doing equal work is surely a legal matter, or is equal pay legislation something that doesn’t apply in tellyland?

Some females aren’t too pleased that they’re being paid less than their male counterparts, including Woman’s Hour presenters who, ironically, have often focused on issues of fair pay.

The figures aren’t even the true earnings as many of them pick up substantial extras from other sources including BBC Worldwide through, for instance, programmes sold to other countries.

The BBC’s supporters have sided with its argument that it is competing in a competitive market and needs to pay top dollar to get the best people. Aye, we heard that from the banking sector and look where “talented” banking staff got us.

Many of these “stars” have admitted they’re overpaid and some would probably do the same job for half the money.

Two million quid to present a radio show? I’m sure there are plenty of noisy and excitable DJs at stations across the land who could do the job just as well for £200,000 and would still consider themselves overpaid.

As for the TV pundits, does the corporation really need to pay former footballer Alan Shearer more than £400,000 to tell us whether the referee called a penalty correctly?

Here’s an idea…why not replace the Match of the Day pundits with fans who actually watch the programme? Get them to comment on what they thought of the day’s games, and pay them £1,000 a show.

There would be a queue around BBC HQ and, given the sort of wise-cracks evident on social media, it would unearth some interesting personalities and humorous reactions instead of the matey and predictable comments we currently get.

Using “ordinary” people works a treat for Channel 4’s Gogglebox which has discovered some hilarious contributors among Britain’s armchair population. They have become the real “stars” of television and are worth every penny they get.




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