Steve Williams

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Steve Williams

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I think it was a union dispute - possibly around shift patterns with moving from Lime Grove to TV Centre

They'd already moved to TV Centre by then, they did that in mid-1988. It was because of a union dispute of some kind, however - as had also affected the launch of that incarnation of Breakfast Time, which meant the original format carried on for a few more weeks as the launch was put back from October to November 1986.

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Steve Williams

BBC News: Presenters & Rotas

Who is prying into what? And don't forget, VD has made very public documentaries - and indeed written a book that has been plugged on the BBC - on her "private life".

This is a pretty offensive argument, I'm afraid, virtually identical to the "they choose to put themselves in the spotlight" argument that people used to justify phone hacking. Victoria Derbyshire decided to discuss and document particular aspects - of her own choosing - of her cancer treatment in an attempt to educate people about the realities of cancer and provide comfort for other sufferers. She did not do this to give people on the internet the excuse to nose around and make judgements about her life. I find it wholly unpleasant to even bring it up as an excuse.

What is this questioning supposed to achieve? What do you want to find out? That Derbyshire is "skiving"? It's absolutely none of anyone's bloody business. If Derbyshire's "absences" were becoming a problem, don't you think her bosses might have noticed before some peope on the internet? And if she is absent, so what? You don't honestly think it's just because she can't be bothered, surely? What possible reason would there be for that? You don't get anywhere near being a senior presenter on a major broadcaster if you don't work hard and aren't dedicated. What are we trying to prove here? She's not claiming benefits or anything.

Spare me all the stuff about being a licence fee payer so you have a right to know. I'm assuming you have the same issue with Graham Norton. He's only on the telly for 45 minutes a week and on the radio three hours a week, and he has three months off in the summer. And he's definitely on more money than Victoria Derbyshire, and more likely to be "on a retainer for the use of his name", if such a thing existed (which I seriously doubt). Can someone tell me what the difference is between the two, please? And no, "because her name is on the show so she should do them all like Graham does" doesn't count when it's on five days a week all year round.

I'll say it again, the hours Victoria Derbyshire works are nobody's bloody business. She is absolutely not the only person at the BBC who isn't on five days a week, in front of or behind the camera. And really, who cares? Who says everyone has to work a five day week? My dad (who doesn't work in the public sector) works four days a week because he works long and inconvenient hours. He is renumerated accordingly. My mum (who also doesn't work in the public sector) works three days a week because that's how much she wants to work to achieve the work-life balance she prefers. And again, is renumerated accordingly. This has all been agreed with their employers and there is no innuendo when they don't work the "other" day(s) of the week. I don't want anyone to start slagging off my parents for "skiving" or being "lazy", so why should Victoria Derbyshire have to put up with it?

I can't believe this discussion keeps on coming up on this forum, often from the same few posters with an axe to grind for the flimsiest of reasons. It's incredibly unpleasant and highly disrespectful.