Feeds

BBC must reveal EastEnders costs

Right two and eight down Albert Square

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

The Information Commissioner's Office has ordered the BBC to release information about the salaries of the stars and other staff at soap opera EastEnders.

The Beeb had previously refused to give out the information, which was requested under the Freedom of Information Act. The corporation said salary data was not covered by the Act and that giving out such information would have a competitive effect because it would effectively reveal total programme budgets. The ICO rejected both arguments.

But the ICO ruled the Beeb was right to withold info on the average and range of performers' wages because providing that information would be too expensive. Organisations are not obliged to spend more than £450 or 18 hours dealing with individual requests.

The Beeb said that all payments to performers were recorded in its ACON (Artists Contracts) database. But each performer has their own card - there is no way to search for "all EastEnders". With 331 performers over the course of a year each of their cards would need to be checked for their performance fee and repeat fee. All this information would need to be re-entered, probably into Excel, in order to get the figures requested.

The request asked how many performers were currently employed and the maximum and minimum figure since 'Stenders started. They also wanted to know how many scriptwriters were on staff, total annual staff costs, the average value of a performer contract the range of values from minimum to maximum and the total cost to the licence payer.

The BBC claimed exemptions on grounds that the information was held for purposes of journalism, art or literature. The ICO ruled that the information was held mainly for operational reasons and therefore should be released.

A spokeswoman for the BBC told us the corporation will appeal the ruling.®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?