I’m not sure how shocked I was when this was published yesterday – in fact I’m not sure how shocked any of us should have been. But we were, or at least it seems so if social media is anything to go by.
There were undoubtedly some eye-watering figures – not least Chris ‘The ego has landed’ Evans and his £2m+ annual remuneration. Gaz Lineker with his £1.8m and even good old Radio 2’s Jezza Vine on about £750,000.
It does seem more than incongruous that at a time of struggle and austerity , our money ( and remember a lot of it is our money through the dreaded licence fee) is going on these people, some of whom are undoubtedly no more than mediocre talent. The Beeb receives in excess of £3.5 billion annually from the licence fee and, rightly, people will now want to know if such huge sums should be paid to these people.
There is a Radio 2 DJ whose show is ‘in the afternoon’ and who has broadcast an almost unchanged format for over 30 years. He is regularly absent and has stand-in presenters and yet took home the equivalent of some £50,000 per month. There is something wrong with this system.
The Radio 2 breakfast DJ commanded a salary that would have paid for 85 nurses, 76 firefighters or 61 police officers. I am only surprised that there hasn’t been more of an outcry. This morning’s newspapers will indeed be tomorrow’s chip wrappers. In an age of instant news via all forms of social media our angst and outrage must necessarily be short-lived. We read these stories, and others that make us deeply unhappy, react ( sometimes inappropriately on Twitter, Facebook etc.) and then the matter is, in our eyes over and we have dealt with it.
Whilst yesterday morning would have been uncomfortable for may of these ‘stars’, isn’t it interesting how some chose to deal with it.
Rather than lying low, Mr. Lineker chose to make a series of guarded and flippant one-liners trivialising the whole affair. No sense of irony there at all and in fairness he does have a tricky and demanding 2 hours every Saturday evening.
Anyway, does he, or any of the others care?? Not a jot. They’re going nowhere soon and neither is their salary. Will we see large-scale boycotts of Radio 2 programmes or Match of the Day? Not a chance. It will be nothing more than a storm in a teacup.
The ‘gender’ debate has , again, been raised. I would like to think that salaries are commensurate with , inter alia, talent. Alas, to think like that would be naïve and it does strike me as simply wrong the disparity between male and female ‘stars’ and the startlingly low numbers from various ethnic groups.
Lord Hall has said that the ‘gender gap’ is ” not where we want it to be”. So change it M ‘Lord.
An awful lot of lip service being paid at the moment. The reality is with nurses and others struggling to get a 1% pay-rise and teachers and ( dare I say lecturers) being treated shoddily, these amounts of pay are not only shameful and embarrassing but they show more than ever the inequality in our country.
Is it any wonder why there is so much indifference and unrest?
Thanks for stopping by folks.