BBC respond to criticism over Glastonbury coverage

Comments come after a Daily Mail expose on corporation's hotel bookings

BBC executive Andy Parfitt has responded to criticism over the number of staff the corporation are sending to cover the Glastonbury festival and how much this is set to cost the licence fee payer.

The Daily Mail published an expose on Sunday (June 5) in which it criticised the Corporation for block booking over 200 luxury hotel rooms. The paper has repeatedly criticised the BBC‘s spending on coverage, which it estimates to be in excess of £1.7 million per year.

Parfitt wrote on the BBC‘s official blog: “Every year we have to counter the charge that the numbers of backstage talent the BBC sends to create Glastonbury is excessive. If the figures were 600, 300 or 100 people I don’t think it would make any difference. Last year we sent 274 staff and freelancers and this year it will be less.”

Parfitt also denied reports that the event is used by various BBC staff members as “corporate hospitality”.

He added: “There is certainly no ‘junket’. There’s no BBC corporate hospitality and any BBC executives attending will also be working. Every member of staff onsite has a clear and accountable role – working hard and extremely long hours to offer unparalleled coverage.”

Glastonbury takes place from June 24-26 and is to be headlined by U2, Coldplay and Beyonce.