The BBC is facing financial ruin after Nicholas Witchell submitted his weekly claim for overtime hours worked, it has been revealed.
“We know he’s put in a bit of a shift the last few days, but even we were surprised at the 600 hours of screen time he’s managed to rack up since Thursday lunchtime,” said BBC insider Simon Williams.
“To put that into context, it’s nearly as much as Bradley Walsh on ITV.
“We tried to open up some emergency lines of finance to pay him,” continued Williams. “But Standard and Poor’s had already downgraded our credit rating, noting that a further Witchell-induced run on our finances was highly likely over the next 10 days.”
The situation is thought to have been made worse by the unique performance-related elements of the Royal correspondent’s contract, negotiated by a canny Witchell back in the 1990s.
“These guarantee him a £10,000 payment every time he says the phrases ‘The Royal family don’t give a running commentary on the health of the Monarch’, and ‘It would be wrong to speculate but…” said Williams.
“The guy has absolutely wiped us out.”