Entertainment

Monday 25 June 2018

Simon Mayo defends Radio 2 over lack of diversity claims

Jo Whiley will join Mayo hosting the early evening show next month.

Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley (PA)
Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley (PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Simon Mayo has defended Radio 2 from accusations that it is too “male” and “pale” – and suggested his new female co-host will earn the same as him.

Jane Garvey, host of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, previously described Radio 2 as “extraordinarily male, entirely pale and big salaries”.

Asked whether the hit BBC station had not been diverse enough, Mayo told The Observer: “I’ve never thought that particularly. Radio 2 has been and still is an extraordinary success story.

“The share (of listeners) that our shows get is unbelievable.”

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Jane Garvey (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

He said that “over the next few years there will be a lot of changes”.

Mayo added: “It might be that it’s lagged behind a bit, but when you look at the success of Chris Evans, Ken Bruce, Jeremy Vine, Steve Wright, Drivetime … Astonishing.”

Jo Whiley, previously revealed to be earning around £150,000, will join Mayo, whose earnings were far higher last year at around £350,000, hosting the station’s early evening show next month.

Asked whether they will both now earn the same, Mayo said: “I’m sure that’s been discussed, because you can’t launch a show and have two presenters starting if they are not on the same money.

“I’m sure that we’ll be on the same otherwise there would be a lot of embarrassment for a lot of people.”

It was revealed last year that Radio 2’s Evans topped the list of high-earning BBC stars on more than £2 million, while the highest paid woman was Claudia Winkleman on between £450,000 and £499,999.

Press Association

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