Ann Widdecombe clashes with heckler on BBC Radio 4
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The former Woman’s Hour host also admitted that it “’p****s her off” that Emma Barnett is being paid more than her after replacing her on the flagship show. The 71-year-old broadcaster also slammed the corporation for consistently paying high-profile presenters huge salaries.
In comments that will no doubt knock her off the Christmas card list, she insisted that despite their talent “they are not worth all that money”.
She told the Sunday Telegraph: “I was talking to an old colleague the other night and she was saying how horrified she is at what’s being paid now.
“We worked so hard and had high profiles, but we didn’t earn anything like [that]. It’s more than irritating. It’s infuriating actually.
“I don’t think, no matter how good they are, they are worth all that money.”
Before Ms Barnett took over the reins in January, Dame Jenni hosted Woman’s Hour for 33 years.
She claims she was paid just over £100,000 for the gig.
In contrast, Ms Barnett, 36, made £240,000-£249,999 in 2020/21.
In the same period, the journalist also presented Radio 5 Live’s The Emma Barnett Show and BBC Two’s Newsnight.
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The list does not clarify which portion of her salary was for Woman’s Hour.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Emma’s salary for 2020/21 covers her four days a week hosting Woman’s Hour, as well as Newsnight, her former 5 Live show and other BBC work.
“Jenni hosted Woman’s Hour 2.5 days a week pro rata.”
Despite Ms Barnett doing more work, commenting on her pay packet, Dame Jenni said: “Well that really p****s me off.”
And while taking aim at Auntie for handing out exuberant salaries, Dame Jenni also slammed it for stripping millions of pensioners of their free licences.
She said she felt “hacked off” that she’ll still be paying the fee in four years time.
Dame Jenni became a regular host for the programme in 1987 and is the longest-serving host in the BBC Radio 4 show’s 74-year history.
During her stint on the show, she interviewed a host of famous women including Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Bette Davis, Benazir Bhutto, Dame Judi Dench, Monica Lewinsky and Joan Baez.
Born in Barnsley, Dame Jenni joined BBC Radio Bristol in 1973 and went on to report and present for BBC TV’s South Today.
In 1983, she joined Newsnight before moving to Radio 4 as a presenter for the Today programme.
Her final programme was in October 2020, which she opened saying it was “very strange” to be leaving.
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