BBC executives admit presenting TV show Points of View was ‘easy money’ for Jeremy Vine as it involved ‘so little work’ for £3,000 an episode, Samira Ahmed’s gender pay gap tribunal hears
- Jeremy Vine was paid £3,000 an episode when he began Points of View in 2008
- He agreed to a pay cut down to £1,300 in 2018 but left for good later that year
- BBC tried to keep him saying it was ‘so little work’ for £1,300 an episode
- Emails were read out during presenter Samira Ahmed’s employment tribunal
BBC executives said that TV show Points of View meant ‘easy money’ for presenters during negotiations for Jeremy Vine’s salary, it emerged yesterday.
Documents submitted to Samira Ahmed’s equal-pay tribunal reveal the job required ‘so little work’ which made it attractive to potential employees.
Jeremy Vine was paid £3,000 per episode when he began presenting the ‘light entertainment’ show in 2008.
He agreed to take a cut in January 2018, reducing his pay to £1,300 per episode, before leaving the show for good that July.
An email between Jon Swain, head of unscripted productions for BBC Studios at the time, and Lisa Opie, managing director factual, lifts the lid on the salary reduction discussion.
Documents submitted to Samira Ahmed’s equal-pay tribunal (she is pictured outside hearing in London yesterday left) revealed the job of presenting Points of View required ‘so little work’ which made it attractive to potential employees, including Jeremy Vine (right)
In the email, Mr Swain wrote: ‘Jeremy has been pretty understanding and indicated … that he’d want £1,500 (think that’s half his current rate) but hinted that he would probably settle at £1,300.
‘I believe stand-in presenters have been paid £1k and been very happy (easy money as it’s so little work). Let me know if that’s enough ammo/information to get him to £1,300.’
The email was referenced by Roger Leatham, director of business affairs for BBC Studios, in his witness statement to the tribunal.
Jeremy Vine was paid £3,000 per episode when he began presenting the ‘light entertainment’ show in 2008 but took a pay cut in January 2018 down to £1,300 before he quit the show that July
Guest presenters on the show have included Eamonn Holmes and Alan Titchmarsh, though it is unclear if they are included in the group who were paid £1,000.
During his evidence, Mr Leatham also claimed he had ‘never heard of’ presenter Miss Ahmed before she took the Corporation to court.
Miss Ahmed is in the second week of her legal battle against the Corporation, claiming she was paid a ‘fraction’ of Mr Vine’s salary for equal work.
Her case focuses on her contract with Newswatch, for which she was paid £440 per episode, compared to Mr Vine’s £3,000 per episode of Points of View.
Mr Leatham said during questioning yesterday that he had not heard of Miss Ahmed before the tribunal. He said: ‘The only time I heard of the claimant was when this whole process started. I don’t think she had the same profile as Jeremy Vine.’
His comments came just hours after Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis publicly defended Miss Ahmed’s battle on Good Morning Britain (pictured), saying her ‘heart goes out’ to her BBC colleague
His comments came just hours after Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis publicly defended Miss Ahmed’s battle, saying her ‘heart goes out’ to her BBC colleague.
On Good Morning Britain, she said: ‘I think it’s a really important thing that she’s doing, fighting for other people who’ve got unjust and unequal imbalances.’
During evidence yesterday, Simon Miller, the Points of View producer, was asked whether the programme required minimum effort from a presenter.
Mr Miller replied that it was ‘not a fair description and does not reflect Jeremy’s role in the programme’. The tribunal continues.