Isn’t this interesting?

Sir David Attenborough’s salary remains unknown as his natural history programmes are funded by BBC Worldwide. Such programmes have such high production budgets that they have to be funded by commercial income.

So, no one can use those programmes as support for the licence fee as they come not as a result of the licence fee.

Definitely one to write down and remember. no?

17 thoughts on “Isn’t this interesting?”

  1. What amuses/bemuses me is all these right-on BBC-defenders coming out with the exact same arguments that are used to justify executive pay.

  2. John Humphreys agreed he is overpaid compared to our heroes and angels in the emergency services but then said his salary is decided by market forces.
    If he and his team do badly he cannot lose revenue for his employer. So not a market. There is a market for him as an individual which was his point but not for his output. The only way he can increase revenues is to somehow liberalise planning laws, promote household breakdowns and lure more immigrant households here,

  3. Close the BBC.

    Call Attenborough in for an interview and sack him on the spot. CM decreed that was good enough for Benny Hill (after he had made his employers– ITV– 100 million or so over the years) so its good enough for ReMainiac dross like Attenborough.

  4. Well,

    Interesting. BBC Worldwide is still a subsidiary of the BBC. Shouldn’t be immune to FOIA requests (and I am assuming that the pressure that was applied to create the disclosure of BBC salaries should inspire them not to apply the s40 and s43 exemptions.)

  5. Neither can we see Graham Norton’s total bill. He owns the production company which he insists puts on his show. Clever cookie. Probably will become a popular route for the big stars who find the BBC a little more constrained next time the contract talks begin.
    Dissapointingly I haven’t seen any debate on the morning shows about what the differences represent. It’s fair enough to ask if Gary Lineker is worth 10 Claire Balding’s but surely you’ve also got a make a decent fist of answering the question. So far it’s been “Here are some figures, yeah, uhuh yup, i know, shocking isn’t it?”

    It would be fun to get the agent of the presenter on the spot. Say get John Humphrey’s to interview his agent, with executive producer’s firm instruction “show us why we pay you the big bucks John- grill him hard”. Then immediately afterwards get Mishal to do it.

  6. According to that fount of all reliable news, the Daily Mail, these revelations are causing much discontent in the BBC itself. The females, in particular, are demanding parity with all those overpaid and talentless metropolitan males. The atmosphere is described as ‘frosty’.


    More to the point, Peter Oborne has remained sober for long enough to pen a piece in which he likens this debacle to the MPs’ expenses thing, the implication of course being that many of the cretins who actually believe the propaganda and pay the BBC £147.50 a year will cancel their DDs in disgust.

    Double delicious, especially as one can find oodles of advice online about outwitting and generally fucking over the BBC’s odious little bagmen.

  7. Bongo,

    “John Humphreys agreed he is overpaid compared to our heroes and angels in the emergency services but then said his salary is decided by market forces.”

    People can’t have their cake and eat it. Either the BBC are magical special pixies doing magical special things, in which case, you have specialist talent that can’t demand too much because no-one else wants them (e.g. Anthony Pappano is very good at talking about opera, but you wouldn’t have to pay him much as ITV aren’t going to make a series about opera). Or, the BBC is fighting for talent in a free market, in which case they aren’t doing magical special things and we can privatise the Today programme.

    But in reality, most TV people aren’t actually that talented. Most presenter talent is about the presenter being reasonably talented and getting into a show where they and the show gel. Nick Knowles really fits in that home improvement show, but put him elsewhere and he fails.

    The money here is more than some people get for starring in Marvel movies. They pay people like Chris Hemsworth $200K to star in Thor. Why? Because that’s all you have to pay. There’s reasonably large numbers of very good, tall, blonde, handsome actors who are prepared to get buff and star as a superhero and do the publicity crap for $200K. Hell, even that’s probably generous, but you want a happy lead guy when he’s doing endless press interviews.

  8. Thomas Fuller,


    I frankly couldn’t give a toss about a woman moaning that she’s only getting £200K and some guy is getting £400K. But I’ll take anything that brings down the BBC. Because the thing with the BBC is that it’s an anachronism. And once it’s gone, it’s never coming back.

  9. Chris Miller
    “Surely Mishal should be asking Humphry’s agent if he’ll please take her on?”

    well yes and it sets up for a navel enveloping “why is your current agent male and overpaid too?”

  10. I think it was Liddle who said a “state broadcaster” was normally associated with countries run by generals.

  11. We can all agree, surely, that Mr Alan Shearer gets paid far too much. Hell, zero would be far too much.

  12. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Turning the light on things like this always involves a certain amount of small shapes scuttling under the fridge. It’s very amusing.

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