For years, since I was exposed to BBC Radio 1 by cooler fellow students, I have thought that Chris Moyles is exactly the sort of supposed "talent" that the misguided, extravagant and bloated BBC is so wrong to bankroll. His entirely forgettable, amoral ramblings are not just pointless but mean that there is so much less music on the station when he is in behind the microphone. He is the wannabe trendy BBC at its worst, and I prefer "More Music, Less Talk" Magic FM.
As I put to Mark Thompson in a recent interview, single mothers on council estates, say, find it quite hard to pay the license fee, and it needs to be carefully spent. Thompson argued that if you want the best, you need to pay for the best.
From the interview:
Asked how [spending] can be justified to, say, a single mother on a council estate struggling to pay the bills, Thompson pauses and then says: "That is true and important. The BBC is owned and paid for by the British public, many of whom are living on small incomes.
"The licence fee is a significant expense, and it is very important that every penny of it is spent wisely. At the same time, you know, most people outside the UK and probably most people inside the UK want the BBC to be the world's greatest and best broadcaster. It costs us billions of pounds to be that."
So, is "every penny" of Chris Moyles's salary "spent wisely"? It's certainly a lot of pennies, as he is said to be paid some £600,000 per year. No wonder he is so put out by a computer problem meaning he temporarily missed out on two months' salary: £100,000 is what the average person around five years to make.
Here are a couple of the nicer things he said in a characteristically foul-mouthed tirade on his "show":
I am very, very angry, I can't tell you how furious I am. I haven't been paid since the end of July and no one cares about it. No one is bothered.
...It is a two-way street and what annoys me is that I mentioned it to people this week. Fix it.
Moyles has since said he is "bemused" that the rant has caused a row.
And the BBC's response, according to the Mirror:
The BBC said: "It is a computer glitch. His payments are being processed." A Beeb source insisted his salary could even be in his bank before he starts his show today.
Phew. That's a relief. Thank goodness for that.
How about another suggestion: let's correct the "glitch" by making it permanent, so that Moyles -- who once told a caller from Newcastle "You've got three kids from some fuckin'..." -- can stop being funded on the back of harder working and more deserving people than him, and take his "talent" to where it will sink or swim in the private sector.
UPDATE: You can donate to poor Chris Moyles via this Just Giving site.