“Honestly? I thought they were quite cheap actually,” she said. “I did. If you want me to be absolutely honest with you, that’s what I thought. I also felt sorry for them being put out there like that.”
The chair of her panel, Pointless presenter Richard Osman, pointed out that entertainment pay rates are “considerably higher at ITV than at the BBC”.
Greene agreed, but declined to reveal the salaries of its own stars, of which Ant and Dec are thought to be the highest paid.
The BBC’s controller of entertainment commissioning Kate Phillips also defended the BBC’s salary rates.
“Talent knows they can go to ITV and get bigger amounts. There’s no secret to that. It’s the creative freedom and breadth of work we can give them. People like Graham Norton have a great breadth. Dare I say it, it’s not always about the money.”
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.