BBC bosses claimed £173,527 expenses over three months

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The Independent Online

BBC executives claimed expenses totalling £173,527.04 over a three-month period, according to quarterly figures published by the BBC yesterday.

Erik Huggers, BBC Technology boss, submitted a bill for £646.79 for a chauffeur-driven car during a trip to South Korea.

The Corporation also spent £3,561 on a month-long hotel stay for the Radio 3 controller Roger Wright during last year's annual Proms festival.

The expenses figures relating to claims between September and December last year come as the BBC revealed that its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, spent £6,000 on a return flight from Australia for the director general, Mark Thompson.

Mr Huggers' new bill follows previous taxi claims of £638.75 and £538.45 during a trip to Palo Alto, California, last June.

A BBC spokesman said Mr Wright's hotel costs were unavoidable as he did not live in London and attended every Prom of the season, including the late-night Proms that started at 10pm.

And the Corporation said of Mr Thompson's Australia trip: "This flight was business class. The cost was fully paid by BBC Worldwide as part of a trip to visit Worldwide businesses in Australia, so no licence fee funds were used."

The expenses claims also show that Alan Yentob, the BBC's Creative Director, travelled business class from London to New York in September last year to film part of his Imagine arts series for BBC1. The return flight cost £3,381.

Mr Thompson did not incur many lunch expenses during the quarter but he did take Terry Wogan for lunch at a cost of £113.34 before the veteran DJ left his Radio 2 morning show.