Just joking: John Humphrys defends equal pay remarks

The Guardian 4 months ago

Radio 4’s John Humphrys has defended his “jocular exchange” with Jon Sopel over colleague Carrie Gracie and the BBC’s equal pay controversy.

The presenter of the Today programme told ITV News on Friday that he was “totally totally in support of equal pay for equal work”.

But he was caught earlier in the week making disparaging remarks after Gracie decided to leave her post as China editor after she learned that male colleagues, including Sopel, a presenter and correspondent, were earning significantly more than her.

Humphrys’ controversial comments are believed to have been made on Monday and were leaked on Wednesday.

Humphrys told Olivia Kinsley of ITV News that Sopel was an old friend. They were in the habit of winding each other up, he said, and the jokey exchange “was a bit of mutual mickey-taking, and that is all it was”.

He said: “It was not meant for any other ears than Jon’s, although there happened to be a producer in the studio at the time – a woman as it happens, who thought it was very funny, because they know about the relationship that I have with Jon.

“It had absolutely nothing to do with my views on women’s pay, which I repeat and have said consistently should be equal – equal pay for equal work, absolutely no question of that.

“It wasn’t meant to be broadcast to anybody. It was just a chat – I had no idea, neither did Jon, neither did anybody else – including the producer – that it was being recorded somewhere in the bowels of the BBC and somebody chose to leak it. And that er, yeah, was mildly annoying.”

On Friday, the BBC said the comments did not break its editorial guidelines as the pair were not explicitly campaigning about an issue, so Humphrys would not be barred from reporting on equal pay. Some female broadcasters who have commented on the issue have, however, been prevented from discussing equal pay on air.

Humphrys, when asked if this was a case of double standards, said: “I can understand only that if people have been misled as to what the exchange was all about, then maybe they could take the wrong message from it.”

When asked whether as an influential person at the BBC he would get behind the campaign to close the gender pay gap, he said: “ I am behind that campaign and so, if I may say so, is the BBC.”

On Thursday, a BBC spokesman said the leaked exchange was ill-advised and that the presenter regretted it. However, a source from the corporation told the Guardian that “management are deeply unimpressed” with the conversation.

Source link
Read also:
OCRegister 5 months ago
A 69-game league winning streak for the Mater Dei boys basketball team came to an end Wednesday night as the visiting Monarchs fell to St. John Bosco...
The Sun Incident 5 months ago
VICTIMS of black-cab sex attacker John Worboys have made a last-ditch plea to be consulted over the terms of his release. The women say they still...
NY Daily News Sports 5 months ago
NEW YORK (AP) — Sophomore guard Marcus LoVett, St. John's second-leading scorer, will miss the remainder of the season due to a knee injury.LoVett...
The Telegraph 5 months ago
M25 rapist Antoni Imiela is being considered for parole, it was reported last night a week after the decision to free taxi driver John Worboys...
SBNation Sports 5 months ago
It was about a fresh start. When John Wall left Adidas it felt like there was no turning back. He’d turned down a $66 million offer that, on the...
SBNation Sports 5 months ago
It was about a fresh start. When John Wall left Adidas it felt like there was no turning back. He’d turned down a $66 million offer that, on the...
The Guardian 4 months ago
The BBC has resisted pressure to take formal action over John Humphry’s jokes about the corporation’s gender pay gap as the former presenter Miriam...
The Sun 4 months ago
BBC listeners have blasted Jon Humphrys after the Today presenter joked about the gender pay gap - and then appeared to ignore the topic completely...
The Sun 4 months ago
JOHN Humphrys, 74, is a well-respected journalist and television host who was last year named as the highest-paid news presenter at the BBC. The...
The Guardian 4 months ago
A recording of BBC Radio 4 Today host John Humphrys making light of the gender pay gap row has left BBC management “deeply unimpressed”. In a leaked...
One click to connect
Select a social network to associate your account