27 Jul 2008

I am only it for the money?

The following news item perhaps indicates greater sensitivity on the part of Channel 4 to the differential between presenters' salaries and those of audience members, than the BBC's sensitivity to how people's TV licence payments are disposed of.

In the July 2008 issue of Mature Times, Terry Waite says that the BBC argument in favour of a radio presenter's three year BBC contract amounting to £18m paid homage to 'the market rate'. Against that backdrop, the current Ceefax page 504 on BBC1 reports:

Vordeman 'forced' to quit quiz

Presenter Carol Vordeman felt forced to leave Channel 4 quiz show Countdown after she was told to take a 90% pay cut, her manager has said.

Agent John Miles said Vordeman, 47 has been told the series survived the death of host Richard Whiteley in 2005, and could "easily survive without you."

Vordeman, a co-host since its 1982 start, said she wanted everyone "to know the truth" about her departure.

A Channel 4 spokesperson said, "We never comment on presenters' salaries."

How will the erstwhile Countdown 'maths expert' who has commented how hard it is for 'us' to keep track of 'our' money without a First Direct loan will be able to survive without the Countdown salary, whatever that amounted to? A lot better on the income from her First Direct ads on TV than pensioner or jobseeker viewers of Countdown, I am sure.

Yet I wonder whether she will tell everyone "the truth" about what she was asked to take a 90% cut from.

Alan Wheatley
Disability Spokesperson for London Green Party,
Jobseekers Allowance claimant and TV Licence payer

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