Sue MacGregor: Radio 4 star details ‘awkward’ moment she confronted BBC boss over pay

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Sue MacGregor has said she endured an “awkward encounter” with Lord Tony Hall, 69, over pay. The BBC Radio 4 spoke to the then head of news at the broadcaster.

I can’t be bothered to fight this

Sue MacGregor

The 79-year-old said she was certainly a victim of the gender pay gap while on the Today programme.

She challenged him years before he became director-general, a role he stepped down from last month.

“It was an awkward encounter because he really didn’t know what to say,” Sue stated.

“He couldn’t really say, ‘Well, John Humphrys is a better journalist than you, and Jim Naughtie has more experience than you’.”

The star continued: “Though that’s probably what he thought. I wasn’t given any particular reason.

“I felt very indignant, but then it faded away, and in the end I just thought, I can’t be bothered to fight this.”

Sue hosted Woman’s Hour – which first launched in the mid 1940s – from 1972 until 1987.

Three years before her exit, the star became one of the hosts of the Today programme, a position she held until 2002.

She was later appointed a CBE for her services to broadcasting before hosting The Reunion, a radio discussion series.

In her new interview with this week’s Radio Times, Sue went on to speculate as to how she has mainted such a long career.

The Oxford-born favourite readily acknowledges one reason is that she has remained single and not had children.

“I didn’t have any of the other strains that young women with kids at home had,” she told the publication.

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She said she had spoken to current The Reunion presenter and married mother-of-two, Kirsty Wark, 65, about the same matter recently.

Sue stated: “She didn’t really comment, because she’s obviously a very well-organised person.

“But to do what she’s done, and bring up her two children, I thought it was extraordinary.”

She added: “But there are lots of women like that in broadcasting. In fact, I’m sort of unique in not having a husband or a child.

Sue MacGregor’s full interview in this week’s Radio Times [RADIO TIMES]

“I’m not anti-children. I love children. It just didn’t happen. I’ve had quite a few boyfriends, but I never quite wanted to marry them.”

Sue previously cited her most memorable The Reunion moments, after the show first started life in 2003.

She highlighted the release of Nelson Mandela to the 1966 World Cup.

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now.

A Broadcasting Life airs Saturday at 8pm on BBC Radio 4.

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