Ex BBC reporter Martin Bell, 82, said the amount of money some presenters earn while working for the broadcasting corporation is “quite extraordinary”, as he praised Tim Davie for planning a new crackdown on “moonlighting” BBC staff.
Recently, BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty, 45, came under fire after she appeared in a NatWest advert following her previous appearance in a paid corporate video for Aston Martin.
The host, who is believed to earn up to £195,000 per year with the BBC, is said to have been warned by bosses about the extra work.
The presenter can be seen speaking to celebrity guests in the videos for NatWest, which are entitled “In Conversation With…”
The BBC told the Daily Mail that Naga had been warned that her work with the bank “could be seen as a conflict of interest and will be kept in mind for future editorial decisions”.
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Naga’s appearances in both videos are believed to have happened before Tim took on the Director General role in June.
A BBC spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Since this event, Naga has been reminded of the risk of conflict of interest when undergoing external engagements.
“We are developing clearer direction in this area as part of our wider work on impartiality and will have more to say on that in due course.”
Following this, Tim said in a speech: “If you want to be an opinionated columnist or a partisan campaigner on social media then that is a valid choice, but you should not be working at the BBC.”
He added: “I think what they’re also cracking down on, and the new Director General has made a very promising start, is the habit of these very well paid people… they’re earning enormous amounts of money outside, in conferences and so on.
“I didn’t do many, most of what I did was for charity, but the amount of money being earned is quite extraordinary.”
Martin addresses his time at the BBC in his new book War and Peacekeeping: Personal Reflections on Conflict and Lasting Peace.
He added: “I invented something called a journalist with attachment and I had a whole booklet written against me, which was very flattering.”