Kaplinsky: 'I'm not worth my wages'

By James Macintyre
Tuesday 12 February 2008 01:00

Natasha Kaplinsky has embarrassed television bosses by questioning whether she is worth the "astonishing" and "ridiculous" amount of money she earns as a newsreader.

The former BBC presenter, who has been poached by Five, made the comments in an interview for the Radio Times. Kaplinsky, 35, refused to disclose her salary details but admitted that the move had involved "an astonishing amount of money" and had "done something completely ridiculous to my wages".

Asked if she was worth the money, Kaplinsky said: "Five seem to think I am, but, no, how can anybody justify that? A dustman is worth £1m for cleaning up the rubbish, as far as I'm concerned, and a doctor is worth £20m for saving someone's life. It's just impossible to answer that question."

Kaplinsky will present a "lighter" version of the news, in a bulletin called Five News with Natasha Kaplinsky. "The programme name was not my idea and I feel a bit nervous about it. I certainly don't plan to stamp my personality all over the news," she said.

The pay of high-profile presenters has been under sharp scrutiny since it emerged that Jonathan Ross is earning about £6m a year from the BBC while the corporation is making cuts to lower-level staff.

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