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Graham Norton claims its ‘rude’ to ask salaries of highly-paid BBC stars

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Reader comments

  1. If only we could revoke his Irish/EU passport and deport him to say the Falklands:)

  2. And here I thought the glitter of Hollywood would be enough to make him stay there forever.

    Something about him just ticks me the wrong way…

  3. we should know we pay YOUR salary -I hate paying this tax the sooner its scrapped the better.


  4. I should know what you make because I pay for your flaming ass to entertain me. I expect to know the salaries of any person I hire. Such a whining tirade by a clown who has lost his big shoes and red nose makes me question if I should continue to pay you for my entertainment at all. Now get back to your work you moron, or I’ll get that monkey to do your job.

  5. Like Abi1975 said on another page, Norton should get an award for ‘Sell out of the year’ because of his Eurovision commentary with the almost total lack of support for those arrested at the Russian pride parade.

  6. Dear Graham,
    Along with the other 19,999 licence fee payers it takes to pony up for your salary I would suggest it is the height of rudeness to perpetuate the tired old BBC stereotype of gay men as camp, neutered nancies. Now take some time off to count your cash and make room for somebody our gay youth can look up too.

  7. I know many diagree with me on this issue, but I do think he has a fair point. That is, if as licence-payers we are entitled to know his pay, then if we are consistant, anyone should know the salary of any public sector person. The same logic would mean that we could go up to anyone who works in a school, hospital, council office etc etc and say “by the way, how make do you make a year?”

    So, I do think its rude to ask. He’s already said “Yes, we are over-paid”.

    As regard to Eurovision commentary however, I think his lack of mention of the protest events earlier that day were a cowardly cop-out.

  8. Rick Jones 10 Sep 2009, 8:40pm

    Well, we do know the salaries of all sorts of people in the public sector such as MPs, ministers and judges doing more important work, and know the bands or parameters for many more, including at the BBC, and certainly for nurses, teachers,etc. Apart from the public interest through public funding, it makes for more open and fairer workplaces for things to be out in the open. (Fairer for the sort of reasons demonstrated by the pay and bonus discrepancies for men and women in the City recently highlighted.) The culture of secrecy about pay is promoted by bosses to divide and rule, surely. The private sector should be as open as the public. The voluntary sector largely is.

    Stewart -when Norton started out I remember his being praised as a TV gay man you could imagine having sex. How you see him now may not have to do either with the BBC or his own evolution or indeed aging but rather a determination on your part to see him as fitting a stereotype you perceive negatively. I think it’s very common for gay people on television to go through a cycle of being seen initially as unstereotypical and a break with the past and later as stereotypical, etc. both in gay and mainstream media, as they become familiar. In other words, are you sure it’s the BBC’s stereotype rather than yours? Part of the ongoing work of dealing with our own internalised homophobia or heterosexism as well as working for real equality is surely getting beyond that sort of approach and attending to people as individuals.

  9. Simon Murphy 10 Sep 2009, 9:08pm

    I see his point in a way. He works for the BBC which in my view is probably the best station in the UK (it’s by no means perfect of course – they have double standards in dealing with homophobia versus racism for example).

    If BBC stars’ salaries are published there will be a huge backlash meaning that the most talented people will move to private stations like ITV who no-one is demanding they reveal their salaries. And ITV presenter earn as much as BBC presenters I reckon.

    If BBC and ITV and Channel 4 stars earn about the same money and they are ALL overpaid then I don’t think the BBC is the sole source of the problem. It is a problem in the TV industry as a whole.

  10. Would it be rude to ask if this tired old camp queen could f_ck off back to Ireland and entertain the paddies over there, instead of poncing off the British public?

  11. Mihangel apYrs 10 Sep 2009, 10:02pm

    I make £33000 including a professional allowance as a public servant of 33 years service.

    Open enough?

    I firmly believe ALL monies paid from the public purse should be open and accountable – including PFI contracts

  12. Er, it’s OUR money, Graham. I think it’s rude when they keep putting the license fee up, but I still have to pay the frigging thing to keep people like you in the lifestyle to which you have become accustomed.

  13. Tim Hopkins 11 Sep 2009, 9:38am

    I entirely agree with Mihangel. I get £27000 as policy coordinator here at the Equality Network, a post funded from Scottish Government grants, to analyse current and developing policy and legislation for LGBT equality compliance and to involve LGBT people in that process.

    Rather less than the average salary for my qualifications, but I’m highly fortunate to be paid for the kind of work we all had to do for nothing up until less than 10 years ago, and many people still do do for nothing!

  14. No 10: RobN – “Would it be rude to ask if this tired old camp queen could f_ck off back to Ireland and entertain the paddies over there, instead of poncing off the British public?

    Are you a BNP supporter or something? Are you racist and stupid or simply racist?

  15. Vince: “Are you a BNP supporter or something?”

    No, I’m a British TV licence payer that end’s up paying the wages of foreigners who come over here, take our jobs, get paid a fortune and then have the f_cking nerve to complain. If they don’t like it, then they should do the alternative.

    Why does everyone blow everything out of proportion If I wanted a better public health service, does that make me a Marxist?

    I am neither racist, nor stupid. I just support my country.
    It’s wankers like you that give patriotism a bad name.
    Lefty f_ckwit.

  16. Publish their wages! The BBC top brass justify their own high pay by continuing the myth that talent is rare and that high pay is the only way to get it. Nonsense. There are lots of talented people, and even if they weren’t quite as talented as Mr Norton, they would do a good job. They could be employed for much less money, knowing that their pay rate would be in the public realm. I’d apply this to everyone paid by the BBC. Best of all, the money saved could be used to make improvements to the BBC, or to reduce the licence fee.

  17. George (comment 7): I agree, but most public sector workers’ pay *is* public… set by a published formula agreed with unions.

  18. Brian Burton 12 Sep 2009, 9:08pm

    I wish some enterprising person would stick Norton’s head down the nearest Loo and flush the crud away!

  19. I understand the point that salaries should be open to public scrutiny, my salary, like many others is available for people to check if they wish (as a public servant). But, I still would consider it rude if someone asked me how much I earn.

    If someone (like others have posted above) wish to disclose their salaries willingly, then that’s fine with me. I just don’t think they should feel pressured to do so. I remember as a kid asking my father how much he earned, partly as I knew he was a high-earner and was curious as to just how much it was. He told me it was rude to ask, that if I wanted to know, the information was publicly available, but still, I shouldn’t ask him as it was rude to do so.

    Anyway, that’s my view on the matter. Like I mentioned earlier, I know many, if not most, will disagree with me on the issue.

  20. George: I understand where you are coming from. When I was a kid there were two questions you never asked a man: How much do you earn? and Who do you vote for?

    I think those rules of etiquette are long gone, and as a member of the public, everyone should have complete transparency to see where their taxes are being spent. Whilst I understand that the BBC has to pay comparable rates to the private sector salaries, or they won’t get the people, we should know EXACTLY what they are all on.

    If Mr Norton finds this matter distasteful, then I suggest he moves to ITV, or better still, do us all a favour and go back to TV Eire.

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