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BBC listeners’ fury as John Humphrys presents Today hours after gender pay joke emerged – and he ignores it

BBC listeners have slammed Today presenter John Humphrys as a "hypocrite" after he failed to address his own leaked jokes about the gender pay gap during this morning's three hour programme.

The veteran presenter was expected to address his unaired chat with co-presenter Jon Sopel after it emerged they'd joked about pay inequality ahead of Monday’s Radio 4 flagship programme.

But on Friday's programme he came under fire for failing to mention the exchange – despite the item being included briefly on the 9am news.

In the leaked conversation, he and Sopel discuss how to broach the topic of Carrie Gracie quitting the BBC as China editor over claims of gender pay inequality in the BBC.

Humphrys, who dismissed the chat as "silly banter", was pressurised to address the story as he presented the show with Nick Robinson this morning.

The pair discussed everything from Donald Trump's cancelled visit to the UK to the weight of the Crown – but failed to mention Humphrys and Sopel's controversial comments.

Andrew Sharp accused the BBC of being "utter cowards".

"Utter cowards – You made @BBCCarrie sit through a whole set of programs/ news bulletins talking about her story & yet you only mention one of the major trending stories about Humphrys at the end of the program #hypocrites #BBCWoman #JohnHumphrys" he wrote.

 


And Twitter user Mum of Fat Cassie added: "Why did #r4today protect Humphrys all morning by not mentioning his snide, unprofessional and unacceptable comments about his colleague, Carrie Gracie, until 9am when he was off air?

"Ms Gracie had to sit through endless analysis of her situation and say nothing the other day."

Amid calls online for Humphrys to stand down, Aman Thakar added: "Saying it's "banter", really doesn't wash, time to get rid of this dinosaur".

In the unaired chat on Monday, host Humphrys, 74, says to Sopel: “Slight change of subject, the first question will be how much of your salary you are prepared to hand over to Carrie Gracie to keep her, and then a few comments about your other colleagues, you know, like our Middle East Editor and the other men who are earning too much…”

North America editor Sopel, 58, replies: “I mean, obviously if we are talking about the scope for the greatest redistribution I’ll have to come back and say well yes Mr Humphrys, but…”

Humphrys says: “And I could save you the trouble as I could volunteer that I’ve handed over already more than you f***ing earn but I’m still left with more than anybody else and that seems to me to be entirely just — something like that would do it?”

Sopel says: “Don’t…”

Transcript of exchange

JOHN HUMPHRYS: Ah. Can you hear me Sopel?

JON SOPEL: Humphrys I can hear you.

JH: Good, slight change of subject – the first question will be how much of your salary you are prepared to hand over to Carrie Gracie to keep her and then a few comments about your other colleagues, you know, like our Middle East Editor and the other men who are earning too much…

JS: I mean, obviously if we are talking about the scope for the greatest redistribution I’ll have to come back and say well yes Mr Humphrys, but…

JH: And I could save you the trouble as I could volunteer that I’ve handed over already more than you f****** earn but I’m still left with more than anybody else and that seems to me to be entirely just – something like that would do it?

JS: Don’t…

JH: Oh dear God.  She’s actually suggested that you should you lose money; you know that don’t you? You’ve read the thing properly have you?

JS: Yeah, I have. Yep.

JH: And the idea is that I’m not allowed to talk to her about it throughout the whole course of the programme.  Not a word.

JS: I mean… can we have this conversation… I’d love to talk to you about it.

Humphrys adds: “Oh dear God. She’s actually suggested that you should lose money; you know that don’t you? You’ve read the thing properly have you?”

But last night when asked about the conversation by The Sun, Humphrys said: “It was just silly banter between old mates.”

A BBC source said: “Management are deeply unimpressed.”

A spokeswoman added: “This was an ill-advised off-air conversation which the presenter regrets.

“The BBC is committed to getting its pay structures right.”

The exchange was leaked to Miriam O’Reilly, 60, who won an ageism case against the Beeb for axing her from Countryfile.

Ms O'Reilly said she was stopped from appearing on Today after making bosses aware she’d heard the clip.

She said: “Clearly John Humphrey’s (sic) was not happy about his salary reduction in the equal pay scandal or the reasons why. Blokes together, what are they like.”


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Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5324662/john-humphrys-bbc-today-programme-gender-pay-gap-joke-reaction-radio/

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