Letter: In a lather over soap opera pay

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The Independent Online
From Professor Phil Redmond

Sir: Your article "'Brookside' directors in a lather over 'miserly' pay" (28 February) is a perfect example of the idiosyncratic artistic interpretation of a dramatic piece. Both your article and its source material, the letter from Piers Haggard of the Directors Guild to myself, contain cuts to the original work.

Rather than Mr Haggard having had "no reply" to his letter, he was contacted on the day his fax arrived (Friday, 23 February) and was informed that I was away but I would see it on my return. This I did the following Tuesday, with an initial reply reaching him the same date as your publication.

Most of the central characters [directors on Brookside] are staff repertory players; they therefore receive the industry staff rates. When staff are temporarily seconded to other projects, their understudies are on short - albeit expensive - freelance contracts.

One thing I have agreed in correspondence with Mr Haggard is that the "derisory pounds 75" increase could be seen as insulting. It has been withdrawn.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Redmond


Mersey Television Company