Carrie Gracie: fight for equal pay was worse than breast cancer

The former BBC China editor said her fight for equal pay was “definitely worse” than her battle with the disease in 2011


Former BBC China editor Carrie Gracie has said her battle for equal pay was “definitely worse than breast cancer,” and believes that she will be penalised at the corporation for her campaign.


In January Gracie resigned from the BBC, citing a “secretive and illegal pay culture” and pay inequalities with her male colleagues, including North America editor Jon Sopel. Last month the BBC apologised to the news presenter for underpaying her, and pledged to give her back pay in order to “put” the issue “right”.

In an interview with the New Yorker magazine, Gracie, who in 2011 was treated for breast cancer, compared her fight for equal pay to the disease, adding: “the stress comes from all the judgment calls along the way”

She also predicted that she would be sidelined by the BBC in future for causing “trouble”.

“I will not ever get a big flagship programme now,” she said. “You can’t be seen to be rewarded for the trouble you’ve caused.”

Gracie is donating the full, undisclosed amount paid to her by the BBC to gender equality charity the Fawcett Society, on the proviso that it be used to help fund legal assistance for low paid women.

In March, hundreds of BBC staff members wrote to Tony Hall demanding full pay transparency.


“I don’t want to be a professional outraged person,” Clare Balding, who backed the Equal Pay Day campaign, told the New Yorker. “I want to change this.”