Humphrys escapes salary grilling
Tory MP Edward Leigh blew his chance to force the BBC’s John Humphrys to reveal his salary
Weeks after BBC newsreader Carrie Gracie was bounced into revealing her £92,000-a-year salary on air, John Humphrys managed to wriggle off the same hook when an MP turned the tables on him during a live interview.
Tory MP Edward Leigh, chairman of the public accounts committee, was being interviewed by Humphrys over the Beeb's refusal to divulge what it pays its radio presenters, when he put the veteran Today presenter on the spot.
"We, the public who pay your salaries, John, should have an idea of what you earn," said Leigh. "You do a very good job, but do you earn more than the Prime Minister?"
The question appeared to flummox the BBC attack dog - who is rumoured to be paid £150,000 a year by Radio 4. "I'd love to be able to tell you that," he begun. "Well why don't you?" responded Leigh.
But with Humphrys on the rack Leigh blotted his copy book by continuing to talk rather than leave the presenter to answer the question. Indeed, he carried on heaping praise on the veteran interviewer, describing him as a "great man".
He was less flattering about other BBC radio presenters, dismissing many of them as "famous for being famous" and describing the BBC's use of the data protection act to avoid making the figures public as "a complete canard".
It is though that the BBC pays many of its star presenters far more than commercial radio stations. Terry Wogan, who presents the Radio 2 breakfast show, earned £800,000 according to documents leaked three years ago.
Those figures revealed that his equivalent on Radio 1, Chris Moyles, pulled in £630,000, while Jonathan Ross and Chris Evans both collected more than half-a-million pounds for their radio work and Humphrys' salary was rather less at just £150,000. ·
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