TUV MLA Jim Allister ruled out a new career in broadcasting after interviewing presenter Stephen Nolan on BBC Radio Ulster this morning, quipping that he had “interviewed many a dodgy character” already.
A former QC specialising in criminal law, Mr Allister admitted that he found it “interesting being on the other side of the table” as he posed some probing questions for the highest paid figure in BBC Northern Ireland.
The News Letter caught up with Mr Allister after the broadcast to ask whether he had enjoyed the experience.
Asked whether he might pursue a career in broadcasting, Mr Allister said: “I wouldn’t say so.”
Laughing, he added: “In my past life I’ve interviewed many a dodgy character.”
On the interview itself, Mr Allister said: “It was interesting being on the other side of the table and it’s not for me to judge how it played out. There was a lot of refuge taken in ‘the BBC won’t allow me to say this, the BBC won’t allow me to say that’ from a man who is so disregarding of rules and regulations in other ways when he is interviewing other people, but, there you are.
“I thought I was fair enough.”
On the wider issue of BBC pay, the TUV leader said: “I think as a starting point, everyone who works hard deserves to be recompensed so I am not against that whatsoever.
“I do think, of course, it is all public money and that maximises the need for transparency.
“The BBC has dragged their heels for a lot of years on this issue and there is still a lot of opaqueness about the money that is paid to a lot of these various front-companies – that was pretty clear from talking to Stpehen Nolan this morning. If there is to be transparency I think that needs to be answered.”
He added: “I think the £2.2 million to Chris Evans seems more than a bit over the top.”