Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

BBC Pay Cut Decision Was All My Own - Host

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

BBC Pay Cut Decision Was All My Own - Host

Article excerpt

Byline: Sherna Noah Reporter

RADIO 4 Today host John Humphrys has said it was his decision to take a pay cut, adding "I'm not exactly on the breadline" as he and other big-name male BBC stars - Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson, and Jeremy Vine - reduced their salaries.

The veteran broadcaster's pay has been slashed from around PS600,000-PS650,000 to PS250,000-PS300,000.

The pay cuts were revealed amid a controversy over the gender pay gap at the corporation, with the BBC's China editor Carrie Gracie resigning from her role in protest at inequalities.

Humphrys, 74, told the Press Association: "It was my decision and it's the third and they have been volunteered in each case.

"The BBC is in a very, very different position from what it was all those years ago when I was, like many other people in the BBC, having money pretty much thrust upon us, because there was loads of money in the BBC...

"There was no shortage of cash. There is a shortage of cash. And it seems to me - and I thought this before the salary disclosures last year but the salary disclosures reinforced the idea - that some of us were earning much more than others."

He said his Today salary had been "exaggerated" when it was made public because of earnings from TV show Mastermind "but it was clearly larger by a margin than anybody else's on the programme. That's really the reason for wanting to reduce it."

He added: "I've been at the BBC for an awfully long time and I've been paid very well and I'm not exactly on the breadline."

Asked if it would make a difference to his day-to-day life, he said: "I don't think I'll be selling matches in the street ... I'm being facetious. I've been very well paid for a very long time."

Humphrys said he did not think the controversy over pay would leave lasting wounds to the reputation of the BBC. "I think it will blow over. These things always do," he said.

"There will be a bit of pain and some anguish. …

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