BBC presenters John Humphrys and Jon Sopel are facing a backlash after mocking the gender pay gap that has divided the broadcaster.
In unguarded comments while not on air, the Radio 4 Today show presenters are reportedly heard discussing the salary of Carrie Gracie, the BBC’s China Editor who quit the post after revealing she was being paid less than male colleagues doing the same job.
The conversation is said to have been recorded before Monday’s programme went to air, and Humphrys reportedly asks Sopel how much of his salary he would “hand over” to Gracie to keep her at the corporation.
The 74-year-old host then jokes that he’s “handed over more than you fucking earn”.
Humphrys told The Sun, who broke the story along with The Times, that it was “silly banter between old mates”. But BBC management have taken a tougher line, with a source at the corporation telling HuffPost UK bosses were “deeply unimpressed”.
According to The Sun, the conversation went:
HUMPHRYS: “The first question will be how much of your salary you are prepared to hand over to Carrie Gracie to keep her and then a few comments about your other colleagues, like our Middle East Editor and the other men who are earning too much…”
SOPEL: “If we are talking about the scope for the greatest redistribution I’ll have to come back and say well, yes, Mr Humphrys, but…
HUMPHRYS: “And I could save you the trouble as I could volunteer 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?”
HUMPHRYS: “Oh dear God. She’s actually suggested that you should lose money; you know that don’t you? You’ve read the thing properly have you?”
The exchange was reportedly leaked by former Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly, who was sidelined by the corporation over accusations of ageism. But she later denied this.
O’Reilly, 60, wrote on Twitter that she had been due to discuss the pay gap on Today, but her appearance was scrapped.
You should hear the tone of the exchange – base, smug and condescending. https://t.co/Rvu59pXB0V
— Miriam O’Reilly (@OReillyMiriam) January 11, 2018
To make clear, I did not give The Sun or Times the John Humphrys Jon Sopel exchange, but I am glad it’s being brought to public attention. #BBCwomen
— Miriam O’Reilly (@OReillyMiriam) …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec