BBC promised Jeremy Vine £100k 'top-up' fee for doing nothing

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Jeremy Vine had a £100k 'top-up' deal at the BBC (Credit: PA)

Jeremy Vine was promised a ‘top-up’ fee by the BBC equalling £100k, even if they were unable to give him work.

Details of the Vine’s pay deal have emerged at presenter Samira Ahmed’s employment tribunal claim for equal pay.

Vine, 54, hosted BBC show Points Of View from 2008 to 2018, and his agent Alex Armitage negotiated him a pay deal which also included hosting quiz show Eggheads, working on Panorama, elections coverage and other radio work.

Read more: Samira Ahmed says Jeremy Vine was ‘gifted’ show

The final contract also included a "top-up" clause, which guaranteed the BBC would give Vine work to the value of £100,000 on other shows or make a payment of up to £100,000 if it did not.

Jeremy Vine leaves the ITN studios in London after presenting the first episode of his new show for Channel Five (Credit: PA)

Roger Leatham, former head of operations & business affairs for Entertainment for BBC Vision, revealed to the tribunal: "Financially, Alex stipulated that the total remuneration had to be close to the offer that ITV had apparently made. We were told that offer was close to a seven-figure amount."

An email sent by Armitage to Leatham in 2007 also accused the BBC of bullying Vine.

The agent wrote: “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.”

Samira Ahmed is demanding equal pay, claiming she and Jeremy Vine did similar work (Credit: PA)

Ahmed is presenter of Newswatch on the BBC News channel, a show similar to Points of View in that it covers viewer feedback.

Read more: Jeremy Vine warns Kevin Clifton his ex could 'take him down' with one word

She is seeking nearly £700,000 in back pay between November 2012 and February 2019, saying she and Vine did similar work, and yet she was paid “a sixth” of what Vine earned.

The BBC rejects the claim and says the work was not comparable.

Last year Vine - who competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 - left the BBC and now hosts his own morning show on Channel 5.