Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Radio: Now That We Know How Much BBC DJs Earn, My Crabbiness as a Listener Is Spectacular to Behold

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Radio: Now That We Know How Much BBC DJs Earn, My Crabbiness as a Listener Is Spectacular to Behold

Article excerpt

As I write, the salaries of Radio 4's leading presenters have not yet been leaked by the BBC mole. But it is bound to happen. First, the mole told us how much the DJs at Radio 1 earn. Unlike everyone else, I was not shocked that Chris Moyles makes [pounds sterling]630,000; he pulls them in, after all. But I was appalled to find that the egregious Sara Cox is paid [pounds sterling]200,000 for her paltry efforts. Then the mole informed us, on the very day that Chris Evans ([pounds sterling]540,000 for ten hours a week) began his new drive-time show, how much Radio 2 stars earn. These figures make for more interesting reading. Even by Radio 2's lavish standards, Jonathan Ross's salary ([pounds sterling]530,000 for a single programme weekly) cannot be justified. Saturday mornings are not like a daily shift: the competition is negligible, the risk of poaching diminished.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Anyway, I look forward to finding out how much the likes of Jenni Murray and Sarah Montague are raking in. Once you know how much someone makes per hour, you start paying a lot more attention to their output. Take Evans. If 30 minutes of his new show pass without him a) playing a decent record or b) making me laugh, I find myself thinking: "For this we pay you [pounds sterling]519?" My new crabbiness as a listener is spectacular to behold (which is doubtless why BBC bosses fear these kinds of leaks--that and the inevitable cat fights which ensue when certain prima donna types find out who's on more than they are). Do many half-hours pass this way? More than you might think. Often, the only thing that saves Evans is my inherently terrible taste in music.

It is still early days for him in this slot, but here are my observations so far. He sounds a bit bored. When Rebecca Pike, a business reporter, comes into the studio, as she does once an hour to tell us all about the markets and the flotation of Standard Life, you can almost hear Evans thinking: Who cares? …

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