MEN FoI question reveals how BBC's Bill Turnbull pocketed £5.5k for NHS event appearance

UPDATE: 23 February 2016, Turnbull has returned the cash. A spokesperson for him said: "Although Bill was assured that no charitable funds had been used to pay his fee, in order to avoid any element of doubt he felt it was appropriate to return it."
 
The jig could be up for the various star name BBC journalists who have been filling their pockets with cash from extra-curricular appearances.
 
A Freedom of Information request from the Manchester Evening News has revealed that BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull was paid £5,500 to compere an evening of awards for NHS staff at Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
 
The evening cost £33,000 to hold, the MEN reports, with around half that money coming from charitable contributions to the hospital.
 
The Sun reports that Turnbull has offered to hand back his fee. A spokesman told the paper: "Bill was not aware it had come from the charity."
 
Turnbull is of course not alone. Such appearances are a nice little earner for many of the BBC's on-screen editorial talents.
 
Axegrinder recalls that in the heady days when Press Gazette ran the British Press Awards, the going rate for Jon Snow or John Humphrys was around £10k. Not bad for 15-minutes of Googled-jokes and then an hour and a half of autocue work (with your dinner thrown in).
 
But not all high-profile hacks are so commercially minded. An honourable mention should go to LBC presenter Nick Ferrari who annually contributes his services for free to present the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards (which donates any surplus to the Journalists' Charity).
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