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Phil Parry is a former BBC news and current affairs reporter. He is winner of the BT Wales award for journalist of the year, BT Wales TV reporter of the year and radio reporter of the year.
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‘We are not giving a running commentary’

An angry television viewer returns to lambast the head of BBC Wales in an email read by Edwin Phillips, for their attitude of giving a blanket refusal to divulge the huge taxpayer-funded salaries of top presenters, letting a newsreader go to a controversial Turkish television station, and axing a Welsh TV Current Affairs programme after 53 years. 

From:  Ivor Gripe

To:  Rhodri Talfan Davies (Director, BBC Wales)

Certain things should be kept secret

Every time I turn on the television I get angry.

These presenter people earn mega-bucks and my wife and I pay for it all.

They even get more than the boss of our factory in the Rhondda.

It only makes me feel even worse when your lot tell The Eye:  “We are not going to offer a running commentary on BBC Wales presenters’ pay”.


These BBC suits in London (and they are all men from what I’ve heard) promised in January to draw up a new ‘on-air pay framework’, after all those women presenters showed how they earned less than the men.

My mates and I down the Con club have been waiting for this new ‘framework’.

‘We talk of nothing else’

In fact we talk of nothing else.

Yet we have seen neither hide nor hair of it.

One woman even had to resign (Carrie Gracie, China Editor).

I wouldn’t mind, but it is on the back of all that other stuff.

Jamie had eyes on a global platform

That bloke who used to do Wales Today (Jamie Owen) went to Turkey (the contentious broadcasting station accused of being President Erdogan’s mouthpiece, the Turkish Radio and Television corporation [TRT]).

He liked it though, and said: “I’ve had a blast at BBC Wales – but the offer to front international news on a global platform is an offer too good to refuse”.

Yet all we got from you when there was a new ‘presenting team’ was that it followed: “the departure of broadcaster Jamie Owen in January”.

Does Erdogan tell Jamie what to do?

As I said to you in that other email, I don’t care that TRT has run all those ‘stories’ about President Erdogan.

My wife and I like the fact that among the headlines on its website at the same time were:  “Erdogan says Turkey will continue its military operation in northern Syria”.

It is good to know that President Erdogan:  “slams US over Turkish banker case”.

There were lots of ‘stories’ about President Erdogan at Jamie’s new channel

And:  “Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is Muslim ‘red line’ – Erdogan”.

But all this comes when you have decided to take an axe to that Current Affairs show we all used to talk about down the club.

I would always sit down and watch Week In, Week Out on Tuesday nights after the news.

WIWO held people to account but was axed after 53 years

After all it had been going for 53 years.

Now it has disappeared like all the rest of them; World In Action, TV Eye, First Tuesday, This Week, Rough Justice and Public Eye.

My wife and I used to like seeing those reporters sticking it to the crooks and lying politicians they exposed!

People were always keen to talk to WIWO

It was almost as bad as you saying you’re ‘not offering a running commentary on BBC Wales presenters’ pay’.

The court case for withholding my licence fee seems more inviting by the day…

Tomorrow – questions about the true identity of a newspaper columnist who said she ‘served in Tony Blair’s administration as an elected politician’.


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