Feeds

BBC must reveal EastEnders costs

Right two and eight down Albert Square

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.