John Humphrys has had a rough time of late. Not only has the Today programme anchor voluntarily taken three pay cuts – with his salary thought to have been cut from £649,000 to under £300,000 – he has received little credit for it. Humphrys has come under flak from all sides after a conversation in which he joked about a female colleague's warnings over the gender pay gap at the BBC was leaked to the Sun. The comments irked Tracey Crouch – a government minister – so much that she refused appear on Today.
So Mr S is pleased to report that Humphrys has finally found a safe space. The BBC anchor was a last-minute addition to the winners' list at today's Oldie of the Year awards. Announcing the winners. Gyles Brandreth – the host for the afternoon – paid tribute to Humphrys, who was on the top table:
'While we are beginning to salute people at this the 25th Oldie of the Year awards luncheon, can we, since his name has been mentioned, salute John Humphrys as our winner of the 'joke that was misunderstood and misreported of the year' award.
He is a brilliant broadcaster, we think he is completely brilliant and we are so lucky that he broadcasts still and we hope that he will do for another seventy five years.'
As for the official winners' list, the SDP's Shirley Williams, 87, was named Oldie Political Legend of the Year after the judging panel came up short when trying to come up with a current politician worthy of an award.
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Other winners included:
Oldie of the Year Dame Vera Lynn (100)
My Dear Oldie Thing of the Year Henry Blofeld (78)
Oldie Drama King of the Year Alan Ayckbourn (78)
Oldie Woman Ahead of her Time April Ashley (82)
Oldie 21st Century Fox of the Year Basil Brush
Palmer d’Or Oldie of the Year Geoffrey Palmer (90)