Category Archives: Bbc

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Loyle Carner Cancels Radio 1 Live Lounge Appearance Over Song Choice Row

Brit Award nominee Loyle Carner has spoken out about his decision to pull out of a planned appearance on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge.

Loyle is up for Best British Breakthrough Act at this year’s Brits, and along with his fellow nominees, had been booked to perform live on Radio 1 in the lead-up to the ceremony next week.

However, on Thursday morning (15 February), Loyle tweeted that he had cancelled his appearance on the Radio 1 show, as producers had refused all three of his suggestions of songs he’d like to cover.

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He wrote: “Sadly I won’t be in the live lounge today. Even though I wrote [down] 3 covers… I was told none of them were ‘big enough hits’.”

Loyle also named his proposed songs as ‘FEEL.’ by Best International Male nominee Kendrick Lamar, ‘30 Hours’ by three-time Brit Award winner Kanye West and ‘The Score’ by The Fugees.

Loyle later liked a post from one fan who noted: “[Radio 1] plays the same shit all day everyday then when an artist comes in to perform live and tries something different they don’t allow him to do it.”

A Radio 1 spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “This is a special Brits Live Lounge week and we have worked very closely with the Brits Breakthrough acts on selecting a cover track by a Brit Award winning artist which is familiar to a daytime Radio 1 audience.”

We have also reached out to Loyle Carner’s representatives for further comment.

Loyle – whose debut album was nominated for the Mercury Prize last year – is up against stiff competition from Dave, Dua Lipa, J Hus and Sampha in the British Breakthrough category.

The hip-hop performer is also up for Best British Male, alongside Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher, Rag’n’Bone Man and Stormzy.

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The BBC Is Banning Single-Use Plastic, Inspired By ‘Blue Planet’

The plastic-free campaign has claimed yet another victory. The BBC has announced a three-step plan to ban single-use plastics by 2020.

By the end of this year, both plastic cutlery and cups will have been scrapped across all of the BBC’s offices. Two million plastic cups are currently being used by visitors and staff each year on BBC sites.

Tony Hall, the BBC’s Director-General, has made no secret of the fact that Sir David Attenborough’s beloved ‘Blue Planet II’ documentary series has played a huge part in the decision, as it highlighted the damage that plastics are doing to the environment and oceans.

“Like millions of people watching ‘Blue Planet II’, I was shocked to see the avoidable waste and harm created by single-use plastic,” he said.

A coffee cup recycling scheme will also be trialed in the BBC’s Salford offices this month, as well as a full removal of plastic containers from canteens.

Discussions are due to take place over the next few months regarding how the broadcaster can make further changes to reach their zero single-use plastic goal in two years time.

A 90-minute special on the global scale of the plastic pollution issue, presented by science and wildlife presenter Liz Bonnin, has also been commissioned by BBC One.

Hall has said that while we all have a responsibility to tackle the problem, he wants the BBC to take the lead. 

“I hope that we can have a BBC free of single-use plastic altogether,” he said in a statement.

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Andrew Marr’s Editor Explains On-Air Thumbs-Up To Minister Penny Mordaunt Was ‘Polite And Human’

Andrew Marr was “being polite” to Conservative minister Penny Mordaunt because he is an “actual human”, the editor of the BBC’s flagship politics programme has said after an unguarded on-air thumbs-up prompted a rash of online conspiracy theories.

Mordaunt, the International Development Secretary, was appearing on the Sunday morning programme to discuss the sexual misconduct allegations against Oxfam workers.

As the interview turned to Brexit at its conclusion, the Cabinet minister insisted she was still “chipper” about the process.

As he handed over to Nick Campbell for a preview of the next show, Marr appeared to give Mordaunt a thumbs-up and tell her “that was very good”.

The gaffe was picked up by many watching on Twitter.

What looked to be an unfortunate error was swiftly ramped up to something more conspiratorial.

Some suggested it showed senior BBC journalists were being soft with the Conservative government over Brexit.

The ‘alt-left’ blog The Skwawkbox, which has made repeated claims of BBC bias, was at the vanguard of the criticism.  

Journalists who don’t work for the BBC made clear Marr was engaging in fairly standard practice.

As did existing and former senior BBC broadcasters. 

But it was the Editor of The Andrew Marr Show, Rob Burley, who went to greatest effort to explain – throughout Sunday – what had happened.

Burley has previously spoken to HuffPost UK about the repeated accusations of ‘#BBCbias’ politics shows face.

He argues that licence fee payers are “absolutely entitled to express opinions, express a view, question or criticise”, but that he won’t ignore a mis-characterisation.

This appeared to be the case on Sunday as Burley tweeted repeatedly about how Marr was acting “suspiciously like a human being”. 

At one stage, he wrote:

“I hate to spoil what you see as the final, clinching evidence of a high level conspiracy, but he was just being nice like an actual human as he is to everyone he interviews, regardless of party.

“It’s the truth – though less exciting than your own version, I grant you.”

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Piers Morgan In Furious Tirade After BBC Airs Graphic Cartoon Of Him With Trump

Caution this post contains, well, graphic content.

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Piers Morgan responded with fury after BBC satire ‘The Mash Report’ broadcast a cartoon image of him pleasuring US President Donald Trump.

The ‘Good Morning Britain’ presenter, who was granted Trump’s first international broadcast interview last week, tweeted the image on Friday night.

He wrote: “The BBC thinks this is OK to broadcast. But if it depicted high profile women, there would be outrage. Why the double standard?”

‘The Mash Report’, which plays with a parental guidance lock on the BBC iPlayer and airs on Thursday nights after the 9pm watershed, is labelled a “satirical and surreal news show” and is presented by Nish Kumar.

The programme used the cartoon after criticism of Morgan’s interviewing style and accusations he “brown nosed” Trump during the groundbreaking Q and A.

But this did little to appease Morgan who claimed the image would not have aired had it involved two prominent women or gay men.

In the process of rallying against the image, however, Morgan’s tweet went viral, racking up thousands of shares on Twitter.

The cartoon featured on ‘The Mash Report’ as part of a segment analysing the differences between body language of legendary interviewer David Frost and his subject Richard Nixon with that of Morgan and Trump.

“In the Trump interview, the staging hinted at a greater intimacy between the two men,” the correspondent says before the cartoon is revealed.

Cartoon was unveiled during Thursday night’s ‘The Mash Report’ satire on Morgan and Trump’s body language” alt=”Cartoon was unveiled during Thursday night’s ‘The Mash Report’ satire on Morgan and Trump’s body language” data-credit=”BBC” data-portal-copyright=”BBC” data-provider=”Other” data-provider-asset-id=”206091812″ data-has-syndication-rights=”false”>

HuffPost UK has contacted the BBC for comment.

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There’s a problem with YouTube’s new anti-propaganda initiative

YouTube is attempting to stem the ugly ooze of propaganda and conspiracy theories on its platform with what can be best described as a misleading Band-Aid.

On Friday, Google-owned YouTube announced it’s rolling out “notices” that inform users they’re watching a video from an organization that receives funding from a government. 

“Our goal is to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube,” Geoff Samek, senior product manager of YouTube News, wrote in a blog post.

SEE ALSO: Fake news, child abuse, and jihadist recruiters: How YouTube’s reckoning arrived Read more…

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BBC Stars Should Have Their Pay Capped At £150,000, Suggests Culture Secretary Matt Hancock

Highly paid BBC stars could see their salaries capped at £150,000, the same level as the prime minister, new Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has suggested.

Hancock, who was promoted to the Cabinet by Theresa May in last week’s reshuffle, said on Sunday the broadcaster has “missed a chance” to cap salaries when a similar rule was introduced across the public sector.

His comments come in the midst of a row over Carrie Gracie, who has resigned as the BBC’s China editor in a row over unequal pay.

In a BBC pay disclosure last year, North America editor Jon Sopel was listed as having a salary of between £200,000 and £249,999, while Gracie revealed she had been earning £135,000 before the BBC offered her a £45,000 rise, which she rejected.

John Humphrys, who has been criticised after a leaked tape, obtained by BuzzFeed, showed him joking with Sopel about the matter, was listed as having a salary of between £600,000 and £649,999, making him the BBC’s highest-paid news presenter.

“Making sure we have equal pay isn’t just about levelling up women’s pay in the BBC, it’s about equal pay and a reasonable level,” Hancock told ITV’s Peston On Sunday.

“Across the rest of the public sector, we brought in rules to say that except in exceptional circumstances, people who are paid for by taxpayers’ money shouldn’t be paid more than the prime minister.

“The BBC, of course, are responsible for their own pay, and I think that they missed a chance to bring in that kind of rule when we brought it in for the rest of public sector a few years ago.

“So now it has to go through a special process to pay somebody more than the prime minister. Of course, there’s sometimes circumstances where that’s necessary, but if you think about it this way.

“In a country around the world where people are paid for by the taxpayer, who should we be paying the most to. Is it the BBC editor, or is it the ambassador?

“The generals have also made a very good point, that people in the armed services put their life on the line and yet they abide by the public sector pay norms, which is not to have excessive pay and where the Prime Minister’s pay is seen as a guide at the top.”

A spokesperson for the BBC told HuffPost UK: “We have reduced the amount we pay talent by a quarter over the past 5 years; however, we’re not competing in the same markets as politicians and other public sector jobs.

“We are competing against ITV, Sky, C4, and increasingly now the deep pockets of Netflix, Amazon and Apple. A number of presenters have left the BBC for considerably more money but we always look to negotiate deals at discount against the market.  We have the highest respect for ambassadors, but these are entirely different jobs and in a different market.”

Hancock added that he would be discussing the issue with BBC director-general Lord Hall in the next few weeks.

“The BBC is funded by licence fee payers and the licence fee is effectively a tax,” Hancock said.

“And if you think about it, we’ve got to have equal pay for equal jobs, and I think the BBC has a special responsibility to lead and to be a beacon, because this issue is broader than the BBC.”

However Tory MP Simon Hart, a member of the digital, culture, media and sport committee, said making comparisons to the prime minister’s pay was “spurious”.

“Everyone knows they make a fortune once they leave office – a prospect not generally open to bbc presenters. Not to mention that there is a ‘market’ out there,” he said on Twitter.

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John Humphrys Condemns ‘Nasty Person’ Who Leaked His Off-Air Conversation Joking About BBC Pay Gap

John Humphrys has hit out at the “nasty person” who leaked an off-air conversation he had joking about equal pay for women at the BBC, as he insisted it did not reflect his views.

Humphrys, the broadcaster’s highest paid news presenter, was recorded joking with colleague Jon Sopel about the issue off-air, after China editor Carrie Gracie had resigned over it.

The leaked transcript of the issue caused outrage, particularly as Humphrys was allowed to continue to broadcast when women who work at the BBC were barred from discussing the issue after expressing a view.

“Some nasty person decided that the world was entitled to hear it, and that one is not entitled to have private conversations,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“This is not something that’s going to dominate my existence. As far as I’m concerned, it’s over and done with.”

ITV News doorstepped Humphrys at his home on Friday evening and he told them that he and Sopel were “winding each other up” during the conversation, which he called a “joke”.

He added it was a “jocular exchange” and called it “complete rubbish” to suggest he opposed equal pay.

“We are in the habit, Jon and I, of winding each other up and the purpose of this jokey – emphasise jokey – exchange was a bit of mutual mickey-taking and that is all it was,” he said.

“If people took a different message from it, it could only be because they didn’t appreciate that it was a joke.”

Humphrys, who earns between £600,000 and £649,999, was speaking to Sopel, who earns between £200,000 and £249,999, off-air at around 4am before Monday’s edition of the Today programme.

He talked Sopel through the Gracie resignation and said: “She’s actually suggested that you should lose money.”

He told Sopel: “I’ve handed over already more than you fucking earn but I’m still left with more than anybody else.”

The full transcript:  

HUMPHRYS:  “The first question will be how much of your salary you are prepared to hand over to Carrie Gracie to keep her and then a few comments about your other colleagues, like our Middle East Editor and the other men who are earning too much…”

SOPEL: “If we are talking about the scope for the greatest redistribution I’ll have to come back and say well, yes, Mr Humphrys, but…

HUMPHRYS: “And I could save you the trouble as I could volunteer I’ve handed over already more than you fucking earn but I’m still left with more than anybody else and that seems to me to be entirely just – something like that would do it?”

SOPEL: “Don’t…”

HUMPHRYS:  “Oh dear God. She’s actually suggested that you should lose money; you know that don’t you? You’ve read the thing properly have you?”

Humphrys’ continued presence on air came after bosses this week demanded those who have given support to the ‘#BBCWomen’ campaign to achieve equal pay stand down from reporting the topic.

That rule saw Gracie herself made to sit silently on Monday while Humphrys reported on her case.

Labour MP Stella Creasy told HuffPost UK that it was “unfair” some stars have been stopped from speaking while Humphrys continued to work.

She said: “This shows the BBC needs to ensure equal pay rather than using editorial guidelines to try to prevent presenters talking about this issue.

“It’s clear everyone has an opinion, so it is unfair to stop some speaking and not others.

“That some of those opinions appear rooted in the 19th century when it comes to why this matters only further underlines the importance of getting this right.”

Woman’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey, who, alongside colleague Winifred Robinson, has been banned from reporting on pay disparity, described the corporation as “the Department of Mixed Messages”.

Miriam O’Reilly, who denied being the person who leaked the Humphrys/Sopel exchange, told Channel 4 News Humphrys should be taken off air during gender pay discussions.

Channel 4 News reported the BBC knew about the exchange for several days before it was leaked and chose not to take Humphrys off air as they deemed it a private conversation,

A BBC source previously told HuffPost that management were “deeply unimpressed” by the exchange.

And a corporation spokesperson said on Thursday evening: “This was an ill-advised off air conversation which the presenter regrets. 

“The BBC is committed to getting its pay structures right and, as we have said, we are conducting a comprehensive analysis of presenter pay.

“PwC are working with us on this to ensure an objective external assessment of how we have set pay in the past, what we need to do differently going forward, and what further action we need to take immediately.

“We will publish that in the coming weeks.”

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The BBC Is Supposed To Educate People – It Should Start With Teaching John Humphrys About Equality

The leaked recording of John Humphrys talking to Jon Sopel tells you everything you need to know about how an organisation’s response to discrimination and inequality affects culture and behaviour. He is reported to have said, among other things, “Oh dear God. She’s actually suggested that you should lose money – you know that don’t you? You’ve read the thing properly have you?”

When Carrie Gracie brought her claim for equal pay, the BBC could have accepted responsibility, apologised to all the women on less money for equivalent work and committed to revising its pay structures and to future pay transparency.

Instead it denied her claim and censored other BBC women who spoke out by invoking impartiality rules. In other words: protect the boys’ club and hunker down until the storm blows over. In that kind of culture it is not at all surprising to hear Humphrys so at home with joking about both her and his own considerably bigger paycheck.

Of course, the BBC is not unusual in having a pay gap problem, nor a pay discrimination problem. The former measures the difference in average pay between men and women, and highlights both the tendency to have men in more senior roles on higher salaries and the need to recruit and promote more women to senior positions to achieve equal representation. The latter arises when companies pay men and women differently for doing the same – or equivalent – jobs, and breach the Equality Act.

The great sadness here is that the BBC is also not unusual in refusing to own up to discriminatory practices. This should have been a moment to put in place policies to ensure equality – putting women at the helm of news programmes as often as men, for example. There was an opportunity, as a supposed leader in equality and diversity, and as a public service broadcaster, to set the tone for achieving gender equality as other firms publish their pay gaps by April this year.

And because so many companies are refusing to own up to discrimination – even, like retailer Phase Eight, claiming the pay gap is the result of women choosing to do lower-paid jobs – the Women’s Equality Party is calling for the redesign of gender pay gap legislation in 2018 so that organisations like the BBC can no longer hide discriminatory practices.

We believe that firms reporting a pay gap above 5% should be required to release details of their hiring, promotion and parental leave policies and the salary bands of their male and female workers, both full and part-time. This transparency would flag where their work practices had implicit discrimination or bias, and encourage employees to take action. They should also break data down by metrics including race and disability, and retention rates after parental leave. And they must face fines if they release inaccurate or incomplete data – or refuse to do it altogether. 

Shame on the BBC for trying to pull the wool over our eyes. When it published the salaries of people earning over £150,000 in line with its charter, it exposed the huge disparity between its male and female, and its white and BAME talent. To then cynically conduct a pay audit minus all of those top earners and pat itself on the back for having a below-average pay gap of 9% is nothing less than a cover up.

Pay discrimination and pay gaps may be different measures of inequality but they both expose discrimination. By its own account, there is a lack of equality at every level of the BBC, from writers to producers to editors to presenters.  

The BBC can start to deal with this by revising its current understanding – as demonstrated by the imposition of its impartiality rule – that equal pay and women’s equality is some kind of opinion that some people might believe and others not. It’s hard to see it applying this rule to any other human rights issue, like freedom of expression, thought or assembly.

Censoring its own staff from speaking out about equality runs counter to the very service the BBC is supposed to provide – broadcasting accurate and impartial news and education for people of all ages. Humphrys is 75. Perhaps the BBC could start with him and demonstrate that it’s never too late to learn.

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BBC men joke about the gender pay gap in leaked conversation

A leaked transcript has revealed two male BBC journalists joking about the corporation’s gender pay gap just days after a female journalist resigned over the company’s culture of pay inequality. 

SEE ALSO: BBC journalist quits after discovering she earns 50% less than male counterparts

Carrie Gracie, the BBC’s China editor, resigned in an open letter after she found out she earned 50 percent less than her male counterparts. 

“With great regret, I have left my post as China Editor to speak out publicly on a crisis of trust at the BBC,” wrote Gracie, who’s been at the BBC for three decades. 

“I believe you have a right to know that it [the BBC] is breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure,” Gracie continues.  Read more…

More about Uk, Bbc, Gender Equality, Gender Pay Gap, and Sexism

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BBC Bosses Furious As John Humphrys And Jon Sopel Mock BBC’s Gender Pay Gap After Carrie Gracie Quits

BBC presenters John Humphrys and Jon Sopel are facing a backlash after mocking the gender pay gap that has divided the broadcaster.

In unguarded comments while not on air, the Radio 4 Today show presenters are reportedly heard discussing the salary of Carrie Gracie, the BBC’s China Editor who quit the post after revealing she was being paid less than male colleagues doing the same job.

The conversation is said to have been recorded before Monday’s programme went to air, and Humphrys reportedly asks Sopel how much of his salary he would “hand over” to Gracie to keep her at the corporation.

The 74-year-old host then jokes that he’s “handed over more than you fucking earn”.

Humphrys told The Sun, who broke the story along with The Times, that it was “silly banter between old mates”. But BBC management have taken a tougher line, with a source at the corporation telling HuffPost UK bosses were “deeply unimpressed”.

According to The Sun, the conversation went:

HUMPHRYS:  “The first question will be how much of your salary you are prepared to hand over to Carrie Gracie to keep her and then a few comments about your other colleagues, like our Middle East Editor and the other men who are earning too much…”

SOPEL: “If we are talking about the scope for the greatest redistribution I’ll have to come back and say well, yes, Mr Humphrys, but…

HUMPHRYS: “And I could save you the trouble as I could volunteer I’ve handed over already more than you fucking earn but I’m still left with more than anybody else and that seems to me to be entirely just – something like that would do it?”

SOPEL “Don’t…”

HUMPHRYS:  “Oh dear God. She’s actually suggested that you should lose money; you know that don’t you? You’ve read the thing properly have you?”

The exchange was reportedly leaked by former Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly, who was sidelined by the corporation over accusations of ageism. But she later denied this.

O’Reilly, 60, wrote on Twitter that she had been due to discuss the pay gap on Today, but her appearance was scrapped.

A BBC spokesperson said: “This was an ill-advised off air conversation which the presenter regrets. 

“The BBC is committed to getting its pay structures right and, as we have said, we are conducting a comprehensive analysis of presenter pay.

“PwC are working with us on this to ensure an objective external assessment of how we have set pay in the past, what we need to do differently going forward, and what further action we need to take immediately.

“We will publish that in the coming weeks.”

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