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BBC publishes new list of highest paid presenters

4 Women in top 10 for first time

JK
JKDerry UTV Newsline
I have been reading about BBC salaries from the 1960s and 1970s and what astonishes me is how many well known celebrities were willing to continue to work at the BBC for really pathetic low amounts, all of which back then subjected to high taxes.

Yes, there was only one other alternative, ITV on offer for people to go to, but it still is surprising when John Cleese said that in 1975 for writing and acting in the first series of Fawlty Towers he was paid £6,000 in total, for both acting and writing. That amounts to near £70,000 in 2020 values.

Arthur Lowe for his starring role as Captain Mainwaring in the first series of Dad's Army only received £170 an episode, with John Le Mesurier getting more at £209 an episode - in 1968 values of course, but still a pittance to what Brendan O'Carroll receives for Mrs Brown's Boys nonsense now.
AN
Andrew Founding member Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I can buy the argument where in the world of TV they need to pay the talent commercial wages as they are in competiton with the other broadcasters for the top names

But does this really work in the world of radio. There is nowhere else with the format and reach of Radio 2 where the talent would jump ship to
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
I was going to say, remember decimalisation changed things in 1971, but even then £170 for a series worth of TV shows was a lot of money in 1968, and i dare say it's modern equivalent after 1971 was still worth a lot more then than it is now. That's inflation for you.

The (colour) licence fee was £10 in old money, the equivalent (according to the Wiki) price in 2013 of £151.
SW
Steve Williams
But does this really work in the world of radio. There is nowhere else with the format and reach of Radio 2 where the talent would jump ship to


Why are Chris Evans and Simon Mayo not on the list anymore, then?
DM
DeMarkay London London
But does this really work in the world of radio. There is nowhere else with the format and reach of Radio 2 where the talent would jump ship to


Heart, Magic, Smooth, Gold, Scala, Greatest Hits, Virgin Radio, Jazz FM.
AN
Andrew Founding member Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
It's debatable if many of those have the same format or audience numbers as Radio 2, but it doesn't matter

What I'm basically getting at is that in TV a BBC star could move to ITV and in theory get the same audience, same format, same freedoms, same prominence, but for much more money

In radio you can jump for more money but you are either going to have a restrictive commercial radio format, or have lots of freedom on one of the newer start ups, but a much lower prominence.
Last edited by Andrew on 17 September 2020 10:26am
AA
Amber Avenger Granada North West Today
It's debatable if many of those have the same format or audience numbers as Radio 2, but it doesn't matter


Whilst I would agree commercial radio generally won't be playing Joe Bloggs an equivilalant salary to spin the top 10 at 10 on Tinpot FM up against Ken Bruce, it's not just about formats and audience, it's about salaries.

If Tinpot FM are bought out by megacorp and want to expand their network to a national one to make a play for a known face to get people to tune in mid-mornings for their all new and original MusicMaster quiz, they are likely to splash the cash and go for a name famous by the BBC. Simon Mayo has admitted in interviews since moving to commercial radio, that the salary list made it very easy for Scala to make a sizable offer to him. I think this yearly list has had more of an effect on radio talent than TV, especially as those on radio only can't as easily hide behind the production company loophole.

They may not have the same format or audience numbers, but as local radio networks die a slow death they are being replaced by networks that have national reach - if not quite the equivilant audience. They can't particularly create stars, but they can - and are - buying ones created elsewhere.

What I'm basically getting at is that in TV a BBC star could move to ITV and in theory get the same audience, same format, same freedoms, same prominence, but for much more money

In radio you can jump for more money but you are either going to have a restrictive commercial radio format, or have lots of freedom on one of the newer start ups, but a much lower prominence.


Whilst that's true, we are discussing wage, and it's been seen in the recent past that commercial radio can be willing to match top BBC salary, regardless of format or audience size. In radio, you are often buying someone's personality as much as their skill due to the more intimate nature of the medium.
Last edited by Amber Avenger on 17 September 2020 1:21pm
BL
bluecortina
I have been reading about BBC salaries from the 1960s and 1970s and what astonishes me is how many well known celebrities were willing to continue to work at the BBC for really pathetic low amounts, all of which back then subjected to high taxes.

Yes, there was only one other alternative, ITV on offer for people to go to, but it still is surprising when John Cleese said that in 1975 for writing and acting in the first series of Fawlty Towers he was paid £6,000 in total, for both acting and writing. That amounts to near £70,000 in 2020 values.


Arthur Lowe for his starring role as Captain Mainwaring in the first series of Dad's Army only received £170 an episode, with John Le Mesurier getting more at £209 an episode - in 1968 values of course, but still a pittance to what Brendan O'Carroll receives for Mrs Brown's Boys nonsense now.



My bold. But that was good money for a few weeks work. In 1975 I was paid about £2500 - for an entire years work.

Being an ex-England captain does bring some additional insight into football that Mark Chapman cannot bring, but whether that’s worth Lineker’s payment is a moot point.

I think the particular problem with football programmes - on all channels - is that they involve ex-players who used to earn fabulous money when they actually played and expect to still earn fabulous money once their playing career is over. I feel the broadcasters need to dis-abuse them of that thinking. Other than punditry I think a lot of these ex-players would be simply sat at home doing nothing and I think that needs to be figured into the financial calculations.

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