There is nothing like a global recession and spirited dose of industrial action to bring flush broadcasting stars a little closer to the more self-effacing world inhabited by the rest of the working population.
Some of the BBC’s biggest stars, including Sir Terry Wogan and Bruce Forsyth were summoned to a meeting where they were informed that those earning above £100,000 could face pays cut when their contracts are next renegotiated. It has been speculated that the salary cuts could range between 25% and 40%.
If this wasn’t bad enough, it was also reported that cost-conscious BBC bosses refused to lay on cars for those that attended the meeting, meaning they were forced to contemplate the sweaty and over-crowded remnants of public transport that barely linked the capital together this week.
You might also want to spare a thought for DJ Jo Whiley who was unable to get home because of the tube strike and apparently had to spend the night in Chris Moyles’ spare room.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Our artists and presenters are at the heart of the programmes and services that audiences love and value.This week’s reception was to thank them for the huge contribution they make, and to share information on some of the future issues the BBC is facing.
“The BBC has a huge challenge to deliver its efficiency savings totalling £1.9bn over the licence fee period. Because of the recession we also now have to find a further £400m of painful cuts, which is why we have implemented an 18 month pay and bonus freeze for senior managers, alongside other measures – and talent costs can’t be immune from the efficiency savings.”