Broadcasters pay Blunkett £30k for Cabinet tapes

Broadcasters have paid former home secretary David Blunkett around £30,000 for the rights to his Cabinet memoirs.

Blunkett's diary of his Parliamentary work since 1997 — published last month and based on audio tape diaries the blind MP kept — has attracted widespread interest from television producers, radio stations and national newspapers.

The newly updated Register of Members' Interests, detailing all MPs' external sources of income, reveals that Blunkett's company, Hadaw Productions and Investments, received up to £30,000 from independent TV production company Juniper Productions for a Channel 4 Dispatches programme based on his book.

The Blunkett Tapes, a two-part documentary which mixed extracts from Blunkett's recorded diaries with interviews with the MP himself and his colleagues, was broadcast on Channel 4 in mid-October and drew an audience of around 930,000.

Juniper Productions paid the Sheffield Brightside MP approximately £15,000 for the rights to broadcast extracts from his memoirs, and an additional £10,000 to £15,000 for Blunkett's role as an advisor to the programme and for appearing on screen to discuss the revelations.

Parliament records released last week also reveal that Blunkett's company was paid up to £5,000 by BBC Radio 4 for the rights to broadcast extracts of The Blunkett Tapes as its book of the week.

Blunkett has not yet withdrawn any of the money earned from the company.

The serialisation of Blunkett's memoirs in The Guardian and the Daily Mail — which would have been far more lucrative — are listed on the Register of Members' Interests, but the amounts paid are yet to be notified. The MP has also declared that he receives £150,000 a year for his weekly column in The Sun.

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