BBC 'deeply unimpressed' over Carrie Gracie pay jokes

Bessie Dean
January 13, 2018

He said: "This was what I thought was an exchange between two old friends who have known each other for 30 years and were taking the mickey out of each other".

Ms Gracie's resignation came as she accused the corporation of a "secretive and illegal pay culture" after it was revealed two-thirds of its stars earning more than £150,000 were male.

But he was caught earlier in the week making disparaging remarks after Gracie chose to leave her post as China editor after she learned that male colleagues, including Sopel, a presenter and correspondent, were earning significantly more than her. She's actually suggested that you should lose money; you know that don't you?

"Oh dear god. She's actually suggested that you should lose money - you know that don't you?" This entire debacle is little more than a confirmation of what women everywhere already know: men who out earn us are not only defensive of their exorbitant salaries but dismissive of our complaints about them.

Mr Humphrys told The Times that his comments were not intended as a criticism of Ms Gracie.

"I could save you the trouble as I could volunteer that I've handed over already more than you fucking earn, but I'm still left with more than anybody else and that seems to me to be entirely just - something like that would do it?"

In contrast, Ms Gracie was paid £135,000, but was offered a pay rise of £45,000 when she threatened to resign. You've read the thing properly have you?'

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Mr Sopel attempted to defuse the situation by replying "don't", but Mr Humphrys continued. "We are reaching a Stasi-like atmosphere of paranoia when off-air conversations are made public to embarrass anyone who steps out of line". So as far as Trump's concerned, what's the top line?

A spokesperson for the BBC said the conversation was "an ill-advised off-air conversation which the presenter regrets". "It was nothing to do with Carrie's campaign", he told The Times.

Miriam O'Reilly, the former host of BBC's Countryfile, told BuzzFeed News she was due to appear on the programme on Friday morning to speak about gender pay issues at the BBC, until she told a producer she had heard the tape of Humphrys' reported remarks. "The BBC is committed to getting its pay structures right".

"PwC are working with us on this to ensure an objective external assessment of how we have set pay in the past, what we need to do differently going forward, and what further action we need to take immediately".

The Humphrys leak, circulated in the BBC newsroom before inevitably reaching a wider audience, will force journalists to suppress any private reservations they have over the pay campaign, according to some.

"We will publish that in the coming weeks".

"Less than five minutes later he came back and said something like because of the nature of news he would have to rearrange my interview for another day, perhaps Saturday [when Humphrys does not present the show]", she added.

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