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Radio: Valerie Grove

Arts | By Valerie Grove | September Issue

Radio presenters: Are they worth their wages?

A female presenter is speaking: ‘And now, my male colleague will read the autocue more expensively.’ This caption on the Telegraph’s Matt cartoon, on the morning of the BBC’s pay revelations, was read out on Today by guess which presenter? Was it Mishal Husain (£200,000-£249,000) or Sarah Montague (unlisted, therefore below £150,000)? It certainly wasn’t J Humphrys (£600,000-£649,000) who was on his day off. But a can of worms had been opened, revealing the slimy, wriggling contents. Giving us licence to air our views. ‘BBC Talent’ is a nebulous concept. On radio, I know it when I hear it, and I know we must pay for it. I wish we didn’t also pay similar sums to the nameless BBC suits with titles such as ‘analytics architect’. Anyway, I cheered when Harry Jones the Welsh miner rang Jeremy Vine and asked him on air if he thought he deserved his £700,000. Vine wriggled...

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