Gary Lineker’s ‘absolutely revolting’ £1.4m salary sums up BBC’s problems, says ex-MEP

David Bull, who served in Brussels alongside Nigel Farage as one of 29 Brexit Party MEPs, is now a host on TalkTV, and yesterday clashed with fellow presenter Johnny Seifert on the subject of the corporation’s annual £159 licence fee, which Mr Bull would like to see scrapped. He told Express.co.uk: “The point I was making strongly is that there are some fantastic services there.

“Now for me, I’d probably offer a core service BBC, which you subscribe to. That would include local radio, BBC News, the main channels, and then put bolt-ons and if the BBC believes so vigorously that it is world-leading people will pay for it.

“Its inception was amazing, it’s changed the world of broadcasting.

“I just don’t think you can sustain it. Also, I think people find the salaries paid to people like Gary Lineker, absolutely revolting to be quite honest.”

Mr Bull, the deputy leader of Reform UK, is a former BBC presenter himself on programmes including Newsround and Watchdog.

However, he did not hold back in his criticism, saying: “They’re obsessed with targets and diversity, and all of these things, and that’s fine.

“I think I think the premise of universality was fine when it was founded, but actually, I think the BBC has lost its way dramatically.

“I don’t think it knows what it’s doing. I think there are far too many people stuffed in, in middle management.”

Mr Bull further suggested the salaries paid to staff generally – not only Lineker – were “way out of whack with commercial rivals”.

He added: “I was very proud to work at the BBC. I absolutely loved what we were doing.

“But it was about these Reithian principles of informing educating and entertaining but I just think they have completely lost the plot.

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“The programming is, is dull, it’s repetitive, it doesn’t offer value to older viewers.

“There’s a dichotomy, that if you are a single person living at home, you paid the same amount as an entire family. That doesn’t seem right to me either.

“And I just in terms of where it’s going, I think it’s incredibly hard to sustain that argument.”

He continued: “Also, the BBC is also now a global operation with BBC studios. They obviously have multiple tentacles into different markets, and they get money back.

“But what we do know from the commercial sector is we make programmes on a fraction of the budget with a fraction of the staff. And I’d argue actually, the quality is as good if not better.”

The future of the BBC is unclear, with Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries giving a clear indication earlier this year that the corporation’s funding was being frozen for the next two.

However, she has also backtracked slightly on her previous suggestion that the levy will be scrapped altogether from 2028 onwards.

Defending the licence fee on TalkTV, Mr Seifert said: “Look, it’s 44p a day – think how much content you’re creating.

“The BBC are adapting so, for example, this summer EastEnders, you can watch all the episodes on a Monday or you can watch every single night religiously.

“We know CBBC is going to move online next year. The thing with content is they make amazing dramas, we need that money.

“Things like Vigil last year, Line of Duty, the drama that goes into that, the writing that goes into that, you want to pay for that content.”

He added: “At the end of the day we want that content.

“Don’t get rid of the licence fee because if you get rid of it, you’ll lose the amazing contests and events you get, and it makes a TV gap. Why would you want to do that?”

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