In this week’s TV round up we hear of drastic staff cuts at the Beeb, Rachel Khoo complaining of a lack of openings for female chefs, while Nigella rakes it in, and of course we had to mention the World Cup!


More BBC staff to face the axe.

James Harding

James Harding is looking to make swingeing cuts to staff

BBC staff have been warned that a “significant” number of redundancies are likely to be made in the corporation’s news department.
Director of news and current affairs James Harding said in an email to staff that the division had to make savings of “tens of millions of pounds” as part of the so-called Delivering Quality First programme.
The former editor of The Times, who joined the BBC last August, said he would share his proposals in July, having taken a “long, hard look” at the budgets over the past couple of months.
“I am afraid that there is no escaping the fact that there are likely to be a significant number of redundancies – most of our costs are tied up in people so there is limited scope for other big savings elsewhere,’ he said.
There has been speculation that between 500-600 jobs could be cut.
Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said: “Cutting 500 jobs in areas of news that are badly over-stretched, where staff are already suffering unacceptably high levels of stress and pressure and in a working environment where bullying has been rife is wholly unacceptable and will inevitably damage the quality of journalism and programming.
“NUJ members are already gearing up to ballot for industrial action over what the BBC has tried to pass off as a pay offer. The place to save money is from the fleshy layers of executive pay and excess at the top of the BBC.
“If senior salaries were capped at £150,000 – massive wages by anyone’s reckoning, and more than enough for the prime minister – an immediate and annual saving of £20 million would be made, money that could go straight into quality programming, the one thing that licence fee payers actually care about.”
We agree with the NUJ assessment.  It seems that at the Beeb, just as with the government’s austerity measures that it is those at the bottom who suffer the harshest.


BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra axe DJs and shake up schedule to cut costs

Robbo Ranx

DJ Robbo Ranx is facing the chop

It would appear that it is not only in news that the Beeb are making cuts.  Last week it announced that BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra are to axe DJs including Edith Bowman, Rob Da Bank and Nihal in a schedule shake-up driven by the need to cut costs.

Controller Ben Cooper admitted that the cull of presenters – which includes Mike Davies, Jen Long, Ally McCrae, CJ Beatz, Crissy Criss and Robbo Ranx – have been driven by cuts across the corporation introduced after the last licence fee settlement.

“These cuts to our budget are hurting,” said Cooper, controller of Radio 1 and 1Xtra. “It means I have had to make some tough choices and say goodbye to some friends and respected colleagues.”






Rachel Khoo: broadcasters are ‘pathetic’ about hiring female chefs

Rachel Khoo - says not enough female chefs on TV.

Rachel Khoo – says not enough female chefs on TV.

Cookery star Rachel Khoo has claimed broadcasters are “pathetic” for not signing up enough female chefs.
Khoo was snapped up two years ago by BBC2 for cookery show The Little Paris Kitchen, which featured the then unknown whipping up dishes in her tiny Parisian flat.
The series was seen by almost 2 million viewers and has since been broadcast in the US, Australia, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil and parts of the Middle East.
But there has been no follow-up on BBC2, and Croydon-born Khoo’s two new Kitchen Notebook series, which cover London’s food scene and cosmopolitan centres such as Istanbul and Stockholm, are airing from Monday on the Good Food channel.
Khoo singled out Channel 4, which features cookery shows from Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Heston Blumenthal, for particular criticism.
“I think they should give an opportunity to others. I mean otherwise it’s Lorraine and Nigella. Where are the women on Channel 4? It’s pathetic.”
She said that Great British Bake Off star Mary Berry, Lorraine Pascale and Nigella Lawson were the only female chefs given significant airtime.
“It was definitely more difficult to get the second series,” Khoo told the Radio Times. “You’re competing with a saturated market and I’m not as established as Nigella or Lorraine.
“As a woman you have to tick all these boxes to be able to be on TV. I know I look a certain way and that’s partly why I’m on TV. If I were really ugly and fat, I don’t think I’d have had the same chance.”



Nigella Lawson’s production company makes profit of nearly £3m

Nigella Lawson - making a mint

Nigella Lawson – making a mint

And speaking of Nigella, profits at her  production company, which makes her TV cookery shows and runs her successful website, increased more than 20% last year to £2.85m.

Lawson’s company Pabulum Productions, which was co-founded in 2001 with business partner William Miller, makes shows such as BBC2’s Nigella’s Kitchen and houses her website.

The money made by her firm represents just a fraction of Lawson’s annual income as it does not include earnings from hugely lucrative enterprises such as the sales of Lawson’s cook books.  She has sold more than 3 million books worldwide. It also excludes earnings from Lawson’s Living Kitchen cookware range, which is sold in stores including John Lewis.

Lawson recently appeared as a mentor on Channel 4’s The Taste, which she originally worked on in the US

Pabulum Productions has also made TV shows including Nigella Express for the BBC, and the Channel 4 series Forever Summer With Nigella.

Lawson’s personal fortune is estimated to be worth more than £15m, so unlike the much of the  rest of the populati0n, she won’t need to be switching to Aldi or Lidl for her groceries.



The Beeb add some colour to their World Cup Coverage.

world cup punditsOne area where Black people in Britain have traditionally been allowed to flourish is sports.  But problems occur when their sporting careers end.  Now he will no longer be playing for England, footballer Rio Ferdinand is lining up his next career – as a pundit.

The Manchester United defender will be joining ex-Arsenal forward Thierry Henry alongside regular host Gary Lineker to head a star-studded cast of pundits for the BBC’s coverage of the 2014 World Cup this summer.

Those names join the extensive list of more regular pundit contributors for the Brazil showpiece, which includes Alan Shearer, Chris Waddle, Martin Keown, Kevin Kilbane, Mark Lawrenson, Danny Mills, Danny Murphy, Phil Neville, Robbie Savage, Pat Nevin, Jason Roberts and John Hartson.

That’s all for this week, but if you just can’t hang on for another seven days to get your next fix of TV industry news, check our facebook page for daily updates.

Lee Pinkerton