Vine’s agent warned BBC to ‘stop bul­ly­ing this artist’

Evening Times - - NEWS -

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.

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