Radio - Rachel Cooke

Now that we know how much BBC DJs earn, my crabbiness as a listener is spectacular to behold

As I write, the salaries of Radio 4's leading presenters have not yet been leaked by the BBC mole. But it is bound to happen. First, the mole told us how much the DJs at Radio 1 earn. Unlike everyone else, I was not shocked that Chris Moyles makes £630,000; he pulls them in, after all. But I was appalled to find that the egregious Sara Cox is paid £200,000 for her paltry efforts. Then the mole informed us, on the very day that Chris Evans (£540,000 for ten hours a week) began his new drive-time show, how much Radio 2 stars earn. These figures make for more interesting reading. Even by Radio 2's lavish standards, Jonathan Ross's salary (£530,000 for a single programme weekly) cannot be justified. Saturday mornings are not like a daily shift: the competition is negligible, the risk of poaching diminished.

Anyway, I look forward to finding out how much the likes of Jenni Murray and Sarah Montague are raking in. Once you know how much someone makes per hour, you start paying a lot more attention to their output. Take Evans. If 30 minutes of his new show pass without him a) playing a decent record or b) making me laugh, I find myself thinking: "For this we pay you £519?" My new crabbiness as a listener is spectacular to behold (which is doubtless why BBC bosses fear these kinds of leaks - that and the inevitable cat fights which ensue when certain prima donna types find out who's on more than they are). Do many half-hours pass this way? More than you might think. Often, the only thing that saves Evans is my inherently terrible taste in music.

It is still early days for him in this slot, but here are my observations so far. He sounds a bit bored. When Rebecca Pike, a business reporter, comes into the studio, as she does once an hour to tell us all about the markets and the flotation of Standard Life, you can almost hear Evans thinking: Who cares? His questions to her sound as if they're being

read off a crib sheet. The first half-hour of the show is "co-presented" by a surprise guest. This is a fine idea, but its success depends hugely on who the guest is. Radio 2 will have to do better than Kelly Jones, the singer from Stereophonics, if it wants the programme to kick off with a bang. That said, I must admit that I look forward to hearing Evans far more than I did Johnnie Walker. At 5pm you need energy - and, so long as he can stave off the boredom, Evans has bags of that.

Elsewhere, it has been a good few days. On Radio 3 it is Dame Janet Baker week, an idea so wonderful that I can't say it would bother me one iota if I were to hear that Roger Wright, the station's controller, is being paid £1m. I hope it appeases those made so enjoyably furious by Easter Monday being devoted entirely to Wagner's Ring cycle. On Radio 4 the Woman's Hour drama was I Leap Over the Wall, from a memoir by Monica Baldwin, who entered a closed order of nuns in 1914 and left it 28 years later. Her sister picked her up, bringing undies the size of a spider's web. "What happened to combinations?" wondered Monica.

Best of all was the news that Sue Lawley is to leave her desert island; I've always found Lawley unbearably snooty. But who will replace her? All the usual names are in the frame - the Dimblebys, Andrew Marr. Yawn. I am spearheading a campaign for Eddie Mair, the divinely waspish presenter of Radio 4's PM. The other day I heard him interview a man from Hamas. The nonsensical blustering that he induced in this particular bearded bully was beyond glorious.

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