IS THAT the sound of me swallowing my words and chewing the cud of what I wrote yesterday? Not exactly – but I did address the matter of the big reveal before the figures were released, after which all I could think was: “Alex Jones gets paid how much?”
Money rarely brings out the best in us, and my point about this being an act of malicious meddling on the government’s part still stands – even if the salaries are an eye-watering distraction.
Proof of the malice involved can be seen splashed across almost every newspaper this morning, as just about the lot of them give the BBC a kicking. Partly this is due to the disparity in pay between male and female presenters, and this gender pay gap is a disgrace and an embarrassment to the BBC and must be resolved. Yet beyond that, the government organised this spot of pay ‘transparency’ as a hostile act against the BBC, knowing exactly what the reaction would be – and delighting in the damage caused.
But still, Alex Jones is paid £450,000 for simpering away onTthe One Show. A friend’s comment on the blog yesterday ran as follows: “In general you are right, but I object very strongly to Jeremy Vine getting paid at all.”
Nicely put – and isn’t that the problem with this reveal? We can all go hunting for those we like and dislike. A cool £600,000 or so for John Hymphrys presenting the Today programme seems excessive, while around half that for Eddie Mair doesn’t seem so bad – but only because Mair is, to me, a true radio star.
£2.2 million for Chris Evans is beyond comprehension, as is the man himself if you ask me, but there you go. As for Derek Thompson earning up to £400,000 for playing Charlie in a hospital drama, well the drinks are going to be on him at the next Casualty party. How is one actor worth so much while other and better actors are not? It’s a mystery.
All of this is interesting to the public while not being of genuine public interest: it doesn’t get us anywhere apart from envy corner, and anyway don’t Ant and Dec earn £3 million a year from ITV?
On the same day that these high BBC salaries were revealed, it was reported that back pay for those who provide overnight care for vulnerable elderly people could be as high as £400 million – further proof that the jobs that really matter are paid the least.