RTE stars 'struggle to pay mortgages'
Some top presenters have to sell their cars and can't pay bills, agent claims
Some of RTE's well known faces are struggling to pay mortgages and other bills, according to Ireland's biggest talent agent.
Noel Kelly has spoken out against the backlash RTE presenters are facing over their pay -- revealing that some are struggling to make ends meet on their widely criticised current pay packets.
His comments come as RTE announced this weekend that the top 10 presenters earned €4m between them in 2009.
The 'superagent' spoke out about the stark reality he says many stars are facing.
"Some of the talent can't afford to pay their bills or mortgages with what they earn and with work not being renewed.
"We have people struggling like everyone else, trying to get an interest-only mortgage, having to sell their car. This idea of them living in this ivory tower on huge wages is simply not true," said Kelly, who represents a wide range of Irish showbusiness figures.
Some of the station's biggest earners have also come under further pressure because of falling audiences
In June, RTE announced plans to cut 75 jobs in a bid to cut its budget by €30m and this month director general Noel Curran bluntly told RTE's top earners that if they didn't agree to a 30 per cent pay cut they could leave.
"We may, during this process of renegotiation, lose some of our most talented and loved presenters to our competitors. That would be very regrettable, but if some choose to leave, we will adjust, find new voices and new ways to deliver services and programmes," he warned.