Thursday 19 September 2019

Fiona Bruce was ‘disappointed’ over BBC gender pay gap

The newsreader and Antiques Roadshow host has also spoken of how she has to deal with both jobs differently.

Fiona Bruce
Fiona Bruce

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Fiona Bruce has said she was “disappointed” when she learned of the gender pay disparity at the BBC.

The presenter was among those to have their salaries made public as part of the broadcaster’s annual report earlier this year.

Bruce, who has worked for the BBC for nearly 30 years and is best known as a newsreader and for hosting the Antiques Roadshow, was revealed to earn between £350,000 and £399,000 in the ‘multi-genre’ band.

Antiques Roadshow 40th Anniversary

Asked if she thinks women at the BBC are fairly treated regarding pay, she told the Radio Times: “The salary list spoke for itself.

“I know the Prime Minister felt the BBC needed to get its house in order.”

The 53-year-old said she “wasn’t taken aback” by the difference in the amount that men earned compared to women.

She said: “I was disappointed.

“The BBC is trying to get its house in order. Let’s see what comes out.”

The Corporation has been under pressure since it was revealed that two-thirds of its stars earning more than £150,000 are male, with Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans the top-paid on between £2.2 million and £2.25 million.

Fiona Bruce

The highest-paid female, Strictly Come Dancing and Radio 2 host Claudia Winkleman, earns £450,000-£499,999 per year.

Bruce, who has fronted Antiques Roadshow for nearly 10 years, said that working as both a news journalist and a presenter on the popular antiques programme means she has to show different sides of herself to viewers.

Admitting that on Antiques Roadshow she sometimes becomes emotional when there’s a particularly compelling story behind an item – “I can’t just stand there” – it’s a different story when working as a newsreader.

Antiques Roadshow 40th Anniversary

She said she “once interviewed a young woman who’d been abused by a gang of men in ways too horrific to repeat”, but that, because it was for the news, “I didn’t put my arm around her”.

“It’s not that there are two Fiona Bruces and it’s not that I don’t have compassion,” Bruce added.

“I wanted to accord that young woman the respect of giving her the space to talk.”

The latest issue of the Radio Times is on sale now.

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