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Graham Norton signs £4m deal with BBC

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  1. There’s something that I find really obscene about these salaries when, in a time when so many people have lost their jobs and even their homes, that the licence fee, is used to pay these people huge salaries. They aren’t worth a quarter of what the ‘out of touch’ BBC are paying. Grrrrr!

  2. 2 million per year. I used to like his show on channel 4, but for the past several years he’s been the “cute” gay presenter that’s acceptable to straight audiences. I wish he had stayed edgy like he used to be, I think it would have helped his credibility in the long-run.

  3. Simon Murphy 6 Jan 2010, 12:33pm

    Well I understand that the BBC need to pay market rates for their presenters. The rates they pay to their star presenters needs to be comparable to the rates paid by ITV etc. Otherwise the BBC will lose a lot of talented people.

    Graham Norton has taken a 20% pay but. Jonathon Ross has taken a 50% pay cut (from a much higher initial salary). They are still earning an obscene amount of money. But they would be earning the same if they worked in ITV and then they’d be under no obligation to reveal their salary details.

    What percentage pay but is Mark Thompson taking. I propose a 100% pay but ie sack him.

  4. what is really outrageous is that technical staff and crew are paid far, far less than these ‘stars’. The BBC are a minimum wage employer at the lower end. I don’t see why Norton is paid SO much for so little work.

  5. £2 million quid a year for presenting a couple of tatty television shows? How many poor people are prosecuted, fined and put in prison to pay this man’s fees?

    How very “progressive”, as the BBC likes to go on about.

    And as for “paying the market rate”, the BBC was supposed to supply TV commercial stations didn’t or couldn’t offer, not follow the herd and inflate the balloon with taxpayer funded cah

  6. Simon Murphy 6 Jan 2010, 2:42pm

    I genuinely don’t see why people are complaining. If you are happy to see all BBC programmes presented by people on a youth training scheme then by all means slash the salaries of all their stars.

    These people like Norton and Ross earn that much money as viewers like them and they are talented at what they do (4 Poofs and a Piano excepted of course) and the BBC knows full well that they’d be snapped up by the commercial sector if they could not meet the market rates.

    And let’s remember that Norton has taken a 20% pay cut. Ross has taken a 50% pay cut. They are not responsible for the recession. The people in the banking industry (who ARE responsible for the recession keep approving massive additional bonus packages for themselves).

    And unlike the politicians at least BBC presenters’ salaries are public information. Salaries of politicians were SUPPOSED to be public but seeing as so many of them were stealing from their constituents (via ‘expenses’)

  7. Carl Rowlands 6 Jan 2010, 3:03pm

    My hear bleeds for them – as for being paid more in the private sector I thought ITV were having problems providing a news service to ITV viewers with many of the regional news franchises up for grabs from ‘independent’ (Non ITV) companies.

    I will be as a camp as anything for £2M per annum!

  8. Ian Bower 6 Jan 2010, 3:22pm

    The BBC is meant to provide public service broadcasting.paid for by the license fee.
    To some extent it does it well at other times if fails miserably.
    The BBC is not meant to be in competition with commercial broadcasters. If these people wish to go to the now cash strapped comercial sector, let them. There is plenty of untapped talent in this country who would do the job for a ‘proper’ salary.
    These people are really ‘up themselves’. We don’t need them.

  9. Simon Murphy 6 Jan 2010, 4:12pm

    “The BBC is not meant to be in competition with commercial broadcasters. ”

    In theory this may be true. The reality is different. But I can guarantee were it not for the likes of Ross and Norton and Strictly Come Dancing and Eastenders (all of which are the BBC’s big ratings winners and all of which could just as easily be on ITV or C4) then people would be complaining that the BBC is too elitist and that it’s not worth the license fee.

    So on the 1 hand these stars should not be earning so much as it is a waste of the TV license fee. If they were not there then the BBC would be too elitist and therefore a waste of the TV license fee. They are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t in fact.

    People say that Ross and Norton and Wogan etc earn too much. But if they were not working for the BBC and instead we had the Youth Training Scheme presenter (say Fearne Cotton) then ratings would sink and they’d face just the same criticism about being wasteful and irrelevant.

    The BBC is a national treasure. I know that it has serious issues with its refusal to tackle the institutional homophobia within it, but in spite of this it is an incredible institution.

    The likes of the Daily Mail/Heil and Rupert Murdoch rags slate the BBC endlessly, but I think that the loss of the BBC would be a national disaster. At least the BBC is not pushing the agenda of a geriatric Australian billionaire. It remains far more trustworthy than any of the privately owned media companies, all of whom promote the agenda of their owners.

    The media in the UK would be as dumb and inane as it is in the US or Italy within a few years if the BBC were disbanded.

  10. that is true, Simon, but even so Norton seems to be earning a lot considering Eurovision and the BAFTAS are one off events and the Rainbow thing is partly funded by the musical theatre industry and he IS only the noisemaker on it. I don’t see how he justifies a 2 year guaranteed contract. he should be paid per show as and when he does them.

  11. Crime1234management 6 Jan 2010, 5:20pm

    Dicks whoops! Bottoms! giggle giggle giggle.

  12. I was just about to lay into Ian Bower for his rant, when I see Simon Murphy has stolen my thunder and said it all for me.

    You can’t have it both ways, either they are populist or they are elitist. Either way they can’t win because one man’s ‘Mastermind’ is another man’s ‘Cash in the Attic’ – They have to pay the going rate. Charities are much the same, check the salaries of the top people in the RSPCA or NSPCC, or dare I say, THT. They have to pay out comparable salaries to the private sector, or they just won’t get the right people.

    Apart from all that, I wade through hundreds of channels of total sh!te on cable, and even if I find something vaguely watchable I have to suffer with interminable ads for loans and insurance every ten minutes. The BBC may not be perfect, but at least I get to see a show in it’s entirety.

  13. Ian Bower 6 Jan 2010, 6:11pm

    Hey there RobN.
    It wasn’t a ‘rant’. It was my valid point of view.

  14. Simon, the BBC snatched both Ross and Norton from the commercial sector, not the other way round. A taxpayer funded state broadcaster is paying over commercial rates, and people still think it is doing somehow worthy?

  15. Give me a break Simon, there is a world of difference between a banker working 6 days a week from 7 a.m to 1 a.m, and a Norton type working 3 months on a once a week show – these folks are vastly overpaid out of the PUBLIC purse with no accountability to the equivalent of the shareholders. The closest we get is the BBC Trust which is a total waste of governance (just look at complaints leveled against Moyles and the like for homophobia). The BBC provides exceptionally poor value for gay and lesbian viewers – we provide an estimated £190 million in revenue and Stonewall have reported GLBT lives are realistically portrayed for 0.06% of airtime over prime time TV. We’re all familiar with the comments on these pages about the proliferation of camp gay men as the only face of GLBT lives and the BBC has few known gay or lesbian people in senior management or trustee positions and it refuses to recognise that this represents a shortcoming in its diversity policy. I’d rather see Norton’s salary spent on quality programming that puts some balance into gay and lesbian portrayal then just the same old camp…

  16. Stephen Jones 6 Jan 2010, 9:26pm

    Well Stewart – I did mention the institutional homophobia of the BBC in an earlier post. That needs to be addressed.

    But it does not detract from my comments about the BBC as a whole – namely that they have to pay market rates for their big stars or else lose them to the commercial stations. They are a public service broadcaster but they still need to get ratings. And the institution as a whole is a good thing for Britain.

    I know that I trust the news from the BBC more than I trust the news from the Daily Mail or SkyNews.

  17. Stephen Jones: ” I did mention the institutional homophobia of the BBC in an earlier post. That needs to be addressed.”

    Ridding the corporation of Jonathan Ross would go a long way towards achieving that goal.

  18. Do gay and lesbian people only watch programmes about gay and lesbians? Surely we can enjoy quality programmes on any subject under the sun. This demand for specific programming puzzles me. Isn’t it better to present gay issues within mainstream popular programing, like, for example, the recent Eastenders story? What is the use of asking for LGBT interest programmes that will be shunted off into a corner for minority interests and ignored by the rest of the licence payers?

    The BBC, as far as I am concerned, makes the best quality programing both for the highbrow and the popular market. Did you notice the ratings for Christmas and New Year. The top programmes all from the BBC.

    But I really don’t think Graham Norton needs £2million for being there. And Ross doesn’t need anything like that much. Neither of them were in those top Christmas TV programmes! We could do without them.

  19. The Grinch 7 Jan 2010, 9:58am

    Oh yeah Rose, the EastEnders story line is a great reflection of our lives: serially promiscuous Christian gets involved with unobtainable confused straight/bi/gay guy while his Muslim mother vents homophobic stereotypes at every opportunity. That is of course, when he is not getting beaten up for being gay. Yeah, that would help any confused gay youth feel real good about themselves….Thanks BBC!

  20. ok, i don’t watch Eastenders, so I have no idea what the gay storyline is, only that there was one. But surely what you describe IS presenting gay issues. After all, homophobia is a reality. So is promiscuity from what I’ve heard on Pink about cruising etc. Eastenders doesn’t seem a likely place for cosy, easy relationships, gay or straight.

    But the point still stands. Do LGBT folk REALLY want to be a minority interest with special programmes for themselves? Doesn’t that defeat the object of getting the message across to the masses that lgbt are a part of society and they should get used to it.

  21. Rose the issue is one of balance. If the only visibility given to gays and lesbians by the BBC is negative (Eastenders), or in the case of Norton, Carr, Winton, Grayson, Inman, 4 Poofs & a Piano simply camp stereotypes (no sign of a lesbian anywhere) then the only message that is coming across is not one of integration and a fair reflection of most of our lives but one that reinforces bigotry toward us.

  22. The Grinch 7 Jan 2010, 11:17am

    Rose the last time I surveyed my mates none of us were lusting after unobtainable ethnic minorities or getting bashed up – we’re all just holding down jobs, working through our relationships, being part of our communities and families. Guess that image would be too radical to show on mainstream TV. If you were to watch it, you’d see that plenty of characters do not conform to a stereotype. Eastenders recently aired and entire episode featuring an all black cast with a wide variety of behaviour on show. Christian on the other hand is a middle aged muscle queen living a life without love and fulfilment, marginal acceptance by society and one night stands. Recognise yourself in that? I sure as hell don’t and neither do my mates…It’s just another missed opportunity by the BBC to put some balance into GLBT representation.

  23. Some of these posts are truly ridiculous, you only watch programmes becasue they are made by / presented by / are about gay people? If that is so you are narrow minded and prejudiced.

    Clare Balding has never had any aggro or discrimination in the conservative posh world of horseracing for being a lesbian, she is respected for being a well qualified, knowledgable journalist.

    Why can’t people grow up a little?

    But on a good note, Wossy is leaving the BBC, that’s £6 million a year saved, maybe the Beeb can give it back to the Government to help pay a bit off the national debt

  24. Miss Marple 7 Jan 2010, 11:58am

    Stephen Jones:”I did mention the institutional homophobia of the BBC in an earlier post”
    You didn’t. It was Simon Murphy.
    Confirms what I have long suspected – the same person giving themselves different handles to make their views appear more popular then they are.
    Grow up people, you can state an opinion without attacking others or constantly posting in different names……

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