Wednesday, February 21, 2024
HomeNewsNick Booth: How does Claudia Winkleman manage on just £500,000 a year?

Nick Booth: How does Claudia Winkleman manage on just £500,000 a year?


The fact that Claudia Winkleman only gets half a million pounds a year as a basic salary is a national scandal. We all know that a comparable male product of showbiz nepotism would probably get paid more. I can’t believe we’re sitting here having this conversation, in the 21st century. Honestly, it beggars belief.

This is something that all women should be angry about. And we men too, if we have a shred of decency.

The unfairness of it all certainly puts the so called suffering of Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and other members of The Patriarchy into context doesn’t it?

No wonder she has to take other jobs on, like her column in The Sunday Times Style mag. And the public appearances. Honestly, I don’t know how she does it.

Of course, there were will be the usual chorus of jealous jeering from the nimby, Brexy-philes of Little England. You know the types: “I just got a massive electricity bill, the children need new school uniforms and I’m struggling to pay the licence fee this month.” Boo hoo, as the BBC product Katie Hopkins would say.

Granted, if Huw Edwards took a 10 per cent pay cut, that could stop five thousand families from slipping into debt. But you can say anything with statistics. In real terms, Huw Edwards offers the type of unbeatable value that no nutritious meal or schoolbook could match.

What these myopic moaners don’t understand is that BBC presenters are worth every penny. If Gary Lineker wasn’t paid two million a year the American networks would snap him up tomorrow. As it is, he has to supplement his wages by using his celebrity to market crispy carcinogens to vulnerable youngsters. I’m sure it’s necessity, not greed, that persuades him to usher the nation’s youth towards an obesity crisis. As we know, Gary Lineker is a man of high moral principle, so this seemingly dreadful and selfish act can’t have been easy for him.

If Graham Norton wasn’t paid £900,000 a year I’m sure Microsoft would snap him up. I saw him reading out the nominations at the Computer Reseller News awards night and he was worth every penny of his twenty three grand appearance fee. Especially when he picked on a member of the audience. The BBC has to compete on the world stage and if we don’t give Derek Thompson £400,000 a year for appearing once a week on a soap opera, Al Jazeera and Fox News would instantly enter a bidding war for his services. Worse still, Holby City and Casualty would soon fall into foreign hands, because the BBC’s output of heavy handed social messaging is the envy of the world.

Yes, we should pay our talent top dollar in order to compete on the world wide content stage. I saw ‘we’ because it’s our BBC isn’t it? If you don’t feel that way, it’s probably because you’re a Junker-phobic white supremacist, so you don’t count. So the BBC is never going to cater for you anyway.

Honestly, they can’t win! One half of the population moans that the BBC takes from the poor and gives to the rich. Meanwhile, the other half says bugger the poor, we’re angry that the booty isn’t being divvied up equally on gender basis.

As Tony Hall will inevitably say at some stage: If the BBC is getting criticised by both sides, we like to think we’re getting it right.

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Nick Booth
Nick Booth
Nick Booth is a freelance writer.

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