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Jim Jim was the funny one, says DJ Nikki

FORMER RTE DJ Nikki Hayes has lashed out at the "grossly unfair" pay differences between presenters at the State broadcaster.

The ex-2fm star said that she was stunned at the €214,000 salary her co-worker Colm Hayes received.

His co-host Jim-Jim Nugent admitted that he was on "a lot less than half" of what Colm was taking home.

And Nikki said that the distribution of salaries at RTE was not evenly spread.

"I think it was grossly unfair," she said. "When it was the Strawberry Alarm Clock, I could see that Jim was the funnyman behind the show.

"When I would come in to work, he would be the one who would still be working there, getting the sketches ready for the next day."

Nikki (35) was devastated when she was suddenly asked to leave by radio bosses last year - in what she described as a "quick chat" just after she finished her programme.

And she believes that there was a massive gap between the salaries of each presenter on air at the same time.

"There was the Strawberry Alarm Clock, Gerry (Ryan), Will Leahy and I on air on 2fm," she said.

"If you look at the different presenters, you're talking about the difference of €100,000 between each of us at least.

"Gerry was on €400,000. It didn't seem to be fair."

The revelation that Colm Hayes was one of the top 10 highest paid in RTE came as a shock to his former co-workers.

"They used to say there was a scale, like a ladder, and that every year we would be reviewed," Nikki said.

"When I was moved to daytime there was a massive difference in terms of salary. But when you look at the likes of what Colm was on - coming in on such a rate. I don't know why he started on such a high salary."

Nikki has now moved onto Spin 103.8 and she said that she has never looked back.

"No - I have no regrets and I don't just say that," she said.

"It gave me the kick in my personal life and my career that I needed."

Jim Jim Nugent did not want to comment when contacted by the Herald, saying that he wanted to focus on his future in FM104.

He earlier said that RTE gave him the "impression" that both presenters were on very similar wages. "But I was paid less - significantly less," he added.