A replacement handbag, two iPods and a book about Queen’s Park Rangers football club are among the BBC expenses claims published today.
The corporation has published the full line-by-line expenses claims for its 10 executive board members, dating back over the past five years.
The spreadsheets include claims submitted by director general Mark Thompson, his deputy Mark Byford, BBC vision director Jana Bennett, BBC audio boss Tim Davie and future media and technology director Erik Huggers.
Among the claims is the cost of a £2,236.90 flight after Mark Thompson called short his family holiday to deal with the Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross controversy last October.
Thompson also spent £99.99 on a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee champagne for veteran entertainer Bruce Forsyth’s 80th birthday.
Jana Bennett received £500 from the corporation after her handbag was stolen while on official business.
Ashley Highfield, the former director of future media and technology, bought two iPods – one in 2005 and one in 2007 – to test out BBC services at a total cost of £455.36.
Mark Byford bought a £14.99 book about Queen’s Park Rangers football club, and Erik Huggers claimed for a Pixar Story DVD.
The BBC also today published a list of its 50 highest-earning staff, with approximate salaries.
BBC News director Helen Boaden earns between £310,000 and £340,000.
The corporation’s director of global news Richard Sambrook is on £280,000 to £310,000, and the BBC Journalism chief operating officer Dominic Coles earns between £250,000 and £280,000.
Today’s expenses release is the first step in a new push for transparency at the BBC.
The salaries and line-by-line expenses of 100 senior staff are due to be published later this year.
Thompson said today that the Daily Telegraph’s revelations about MPs’ expenses had added “even greater anger and urgency” to the debate about how public money is spent.