Revealed: Newsnight host Emily Maitlis went ‘on strike’ after discovering fellow BBC presenters like Jeremy Vine were being paid more for similar roles
She’s hailed as a star of the BBC and was chosen as the lead presenter of Newsnight, but Emily Maitlis has revealed she had to take drastic measures to be paid the same rates as her male colleagues.
Maitlis, 48, has disclosed that she went ‘on strike’ after discovering that fellow BBC presenters, such as Jeremy Vine, were being paid far more for similar roles at the Corporation.
‘I knew that, for example, Jeremy Vine and I were literally doing the same job [during election coverage],’ she says.
Emily Maitlis has revealed she had to take drastic measures to be paid the same rates as her male colleagues
‘I was standing in front of a touch screen, he was in front of a [virtual-reality] screen and we were doing the same job with the same preparation. Yet there was a massive disparity in salaries.
‘A colleague on the team said: “You’ve got to sort this out.” And I went in and tried, and I got told it couldn’t be sorted out.’
Maitlis, who attended a state comprehensive in Sheffield before winning a place at Cambridge, reveals: ‘I went on strike, actually. I was like: “I’m just going to quietly stay away until you sort out the contract,” because it seemed like a more efficient way of doing things.
‘I never made a big deal of it, never told anyone, it was just between me and them.’
‘I knew that, for example, Jeremy Vine and I were literally doing the same job [during election coverage],’ Maitlis says
BBC high-ups were apparently so worried about the imminent publication of their top presenters’ salaries in 2017 that they soon caved in and offered Maitlis a huge pay rise.
‘You know, sunlight and disinfectant and all that sort of stuff,’ she says. ‘What’s that amazing phrase: most people don’t work against their interests if they don’t have to.’
Her then Newsnight colleague Evan Davis gave her ‘an extraordinarily generous’ and ‘quite faith-restoring’ phone call, ‘where he basically said: “This is all wrong and we must put it right.” ‘
Maitlis’s salary has now been raised from below £150,000 to £229,999, making her the joint highest-paid woman at BBC News.
Kate’s brother James is handed godfather role
The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother, James Middleton, has been chosen as a godparent.
Not of baby Archie — he won’t be christened for a while — but of Theodore, the eight-month-old son of former Made In Chelsea star Spencer Matthews and Irish model Vogue Williams.
Middleton’s sister, Pippa, is married to Spencer’s elder brother, financier James Matthews.
‘Very kindly they asked me,’ entrepreneur Middleton (pictured) tells me. ‘I’m delighted to be godfather.’
The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother, James Middleton, has been chosen as a godparent
It’s puppy love! Hurley shows off new spaniel
Bluebells are bursting out — and so, wonderfully, is that other harbinger of summer, Elizabeth Hurley.
‘Bikini weather and puppy: what a perfect day,’ the evergreen actress and model wrote next to this picture which she shared with her fans yesterday.
Wearing a beaded bikini from her eponymous beachwear collection, Miss Hurley, 53, was introducing her new dog, Ava, an eight-week-old spaniel.
Last month, she and her son, Damian, were left devastated when their beloved black labrador, Raja, died aged 11.
Bluebells are bursting out — and so, wonderfully, is that other harbinger of summer, Elizabeth Hurley
It’s The Crown Musical! Eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken reveals he’s considering writing a stage show about the lives of the Queen and Prince Philip.
‘Somebody has actually approached me in relation to that,’ the 69-year-old New Yorker tells me at the London premiere of Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie.
Menken, whose scores include Beauty And The Beast, Little Shop Of Horrors and Sister Act, adds: ‘With Elizabeth and Philip, it is a great story.’
Perhaps it could be directed by Prince Edward, who once toiled for Andrew Lloyd Webber?
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