Monday 19 August 2019

Fiona Bruce says BBC boss refused her pay rise because of her boyfriend's salary

Fiona Bruce attends the opening night reception of the English National Ballet's production of
Fiona Bruce attends the opening night reception of the English National Ballet's production of "Giselle" hosted by St Martins Lane on January 11, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

BBC host Fiona Bruce said she was once refused a pay rise because her boss at the time said she could rely on her boyfriend's salary.

The Question Time host (54) said that her request for a "desultory" salary increase was dismissed in her early days at the British broadcaster, because her boss at the time said her boyfriend at the time likely footed the bill for most of their costs.

“My boss said: ‘Do you really need it? What does your boyfriend do? You live with him, don’t you? Doesn’t he pay for most things?’”

She responded: “Well, I do the supermarket shopping, so I need to pay for that. How ludicrous is that?”

She didn't name the manager or what department she was working in at the time.

In an interview with British Vogue, Bruce said that there was a "terrible atmosphere" when she began work at the BBC in 1988.

“It was a terrible atmosphere – dog-eat-dog, bitchy, not a nice place to be. If the six o’clock [news] had a story they didn’t want the one o’clock [news] to know about, they wouldn’t put it in the running order,” she said.

Throughout her 30+ year career at the station, she has presented Antiques Roadshow, Fake or Fortune? and was previously the first female newsreader on the BBC’s flagship News at Ten.

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