BBC 'To Pay Top Stars Less'
November 3, 2008 at 5:31 AM (PT)
Salaries paid to big stars who join the BBC are heading for a period of "retrenchment", the head of the corporation said. UKPRESS reports with the BBC looking at ways to save money in all areas, Director General MARK THOMPSON said it would be able to secure the "best entertainment talent for less than we have been able to do in the last few years".
THOMPSON also said he hoped disgraced star JONATHAN ROSS would return to the BBC after the 12-week suspension imposed after lewd phone calls were made to Fawlty Towers actor ANDREW SACHS. And he refused to rule out a return for former RADIO 2 controller LESLEY DOUGLAS -- who resigned over the row -- saying he did not believe in "lifetime bans".
Challenged over whether the corporation would pay any new stars a £6 million annual salary -- ROSS's wage -- THOMPSON said, "We never talk about individual contracts -- not JONATHAN ROSS's, not yours. But I think we are heading towards a period where it is probably the case that we will be able to secure the best entertainment talent for less than we have been able to do in the last few years."