'Can you imagine if Terry Wogan had not got paid?' – Moyles takes on his bosses
Thursday 23 September 2010
Chris Moyles has angered many people in his controversial career, including the gay lobby, child sex campaigners and Poles. Now he's taken on his own bosses at the BBC in an extraordinary on-air rant.
The Radio 1 Breakfast show presenter accused them of a "huge lack of respect" after he went two months without being paid and raged publicly that the BBC could not "be bothered" to pay him.
Moyles, who is widely regarded as having rescued the Radio 1 breakfast show from a collapse in listening figures, only returned to the air earlier this month after taking a holiday in the wake of his break-up with his girlfriend of eight years, Sophie Waites.
Describing himself as "very, very angry" he said: "Why should I come in? It's a two-way street. Can you imagine if Terry Wogan had not got paid for two months? Would you even think that would ever happen? It just wouldn't, would it? Do you ever think anyone would forget to pay Chris Evans for two months and nobody would panic about it?"
His fury was then turned on a listener who had texted the show that he should be grateful to be well paid. The presenter responded: "You know nothing about my life. And by the way, what, because I get paid more than you that means if I don't get paid for two months I should just go 'oh well'? And by the way, I slept on someone's sofa last night so don't speak to me about my life. You have no idea, my friend."
A BBC spokeswoman said the failure to pay Moyles was down to a computer glitch and that the payments were "currently being processed".
BBC bosses are not thought to want to take disciplinary action against him, despite his record of making controversial on-air statements.
Moyles has previously apologised for "unintentional offence" caused to Poles when in 2008 he said: 'I've always found in my experience prostitutes make very good cleaners, and their ironing, brilliant. I just find if you're Polish you're just very good at ironing – and prostitutes."
In March last year he was censured by Ofcom, the media regulator, for mocking the gay singer Will Young by singing in a high-pitched effeminate voice. Moyles denied being homophobic but it wasn't the only time he attracted the ire of the gay community. On another occasion the charity Stonewall demanded he be sacked after he described a telephone ringtone as "gay" – the incident provoked a media debate on the use of the word.
Ofcom again upheld complaints made in response to comments broadcast on Charlotte Church's 16th birthday when Moyles offered to 'lead her through the forest of her sexuality'.
He was a controversial DJ long before he was headhunted by the BBC to stem haemorrhaging listening figures on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show. The Spice Girls were a favourite target of his acerbic wit and in a late night show he thrived on exposing the stupidity of calls from listeners.
Despite his controversial outbursts – and perhaps in part because of them – the DJ turned the show around and maintained listening figures. The latest figures show he has 7.72 million listeners a week. In 2009 Moyles overtook Tony Blackburn as the show's longest-lasting host.
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