MP slams 'botox' BBC newsreaders
A veteran Tory MP has launched a scathing attack on female BBC newsreaders - suggesting they might have had "too much botox".
David Amess complained that "one or two" of the corporation's top women stars kept smiling inappropriately when introducing serious stories. The remark came during a wider assault on the broadcaster in which he accused it of left-wing bias and paying executives "absolutely ludicrous" salaries.
The Southend West MP said the BBC reported events in Israel in a "highly disproportionate manner", showing the state in a "poor light".
He told the Commons: "More poignantly, it is fervently anti-cuts and ensures that this message pervades every aspect of BBC programming.
"Since the general election the BBC has embarked upon a consistent policy of criticising Government actions, which is rather amusing given that the Director General (Mark Thompson) declared 'bias at the BBC ...' - so he must have recognised there was bias - 'bias at the BBC was a thing of the past'."
He continued: "I just think that salaries that the management of the BBC are paid are absolutely ludicrous.
"The Director General - £838,000. This is madness. Other directors' pay, as of March 2011: one gets £488,000, another one gets £517,000, another one £467,000, another one £452,000. Not to mention what the financial controller gets."
Turning his attention to the talent in front of the cameras, Mr Amess told MPs: "I don't know whether we have brilliant presenters.
"I would just say that it annoys me when one or two female presenters, I don't know whether they've had too much botox or something, when they are presenting the news and it's a very serious subject, they are smiling, which I find slightly annoying." He did not say which newsreaders he had in mind.
Culture minister Ed Vaizey responded: "The BBC is one of the finest broadcasters not just in this country but in the world. It sets a quality bar which is why we have such high quality television and radio in this country."