Vine’s agent warned BBC to ‘stop bullying this artist’
JEREMY Vine’s agent told BBC bosses to stop “bullying” his client and treating him “like a child” during talks to renew his pay deal.
Alex Armitage sent “a rather colourful email” to reject an initial offer during contract negotiations at the end of 2007.
Details of behindthe-scenes talks for Vine were revealed in evidential documents before an employment tribunal over an equal pay claim brought by TV presenter Samira Ahmed.
In an email sent in December 2007 by Armitage to Roger Leatham, then head of operations & business affairs for entertainment for
BBC Vision, he said: “The BBC must now stop bullying this artist and pushing him around on this deal and listen to him.
“Stop treating him like a chattel and pay him properly... stop treating Jeremy Vine like a child as he is sick of it now.”
Ahmed, the presenter of Newswatch, is facing the BBC at the tribunal claiming she was paid “a sixth” of what Vine earned while he was presenting Points Of View, a programme she argues is similar.
Ahmed is seeking nearly £700,000 in back pay. The BBC rejects the claim and says the work was not comparable. The tribunal continues.