The Sun today reports that the stars of Coronation Street were “furious” when they learned that their pay could be cut by almost a third.
The reason for the drop in pay is that the show’s omnibus edition is moving from ITV1 to digital channel, ITV2, and as a result, the stars’ royalty fees will be cut.
The paper states that presently, the stars of the show receive 37.5% of their per-episode pay from the airing of repeats, but with the move, they will now all share “a small royalty fee.” Their standard salary is around £250,000 per year.
The cast were informed of the change to their salaries in a letter just before Christmas, and it seems many of them are so unhappy with the drop in pay, they are considering taking strike action…
A show insider told the paper, “The stars are not happy and without the stars there is no show.
“They don’t feel they deserve a pay cut while the show is at the top of its game.
“If the situation isn’t resolved some cast members have indicated they’d be prepared to go on strike.”
An Equity union insider added, “Equity wants to protect the value of their members’ work.
“Now we need to work out how the repeat fee is negotiated when their work is broadcast across different media, be it digital or online.”
And last night, Coronation Street spokesman Alison Sinclair confirmed discussions with Equity and cast members had begun.
She told the paper, “We are in the process of talking to cast members whose pay may be affected by the ending of the omnibus repeat on ITV1.
“We expect to come to an arrangement in the next few weeks.
“In the meantime we have confirmed that we will continue with repeat fee payments.”
What’s your opinion about this story? Should around £200,000 a year be enough – with royalties a bonus – or are the show’s stars right to be up in arms about the reduction in their pay?
My feeling about it is that we all, irrespective of our incomes, live up to our means, so whether we’re on £40 a week or £4,000, chances are, it’s a figure we’re dependent upon to support our lifestyles, so a cut of this nature could be a dramatic one, in relative terms.
But let us know what you think.