John Humphrys slams “nasty person” who leaked his controversial gender pay gap remarks

The BBC Radio 4 host was widely criticised after a recording of him joking about Carrie Gracie's resignation over equal pay was made public

John Humphrys has defended himself after he was unwittingly recorded joking about the gender pay gap at the BBC, slamming the “nasty person” behind the leaked recording.

The host of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme came in for criticism yesterday (January 12) after a recording of Humphrys in conversation with his BBC colleague Jon Sopel was leaked to the press.

In the recording, Humphrys appeared to joke about the resignation of Carrie Gracie, who left her post as BBC News’ China editor earlier this week after learning that she earned significantly less than male international editors in the corporation.

See the transcript of the conversation in question below.

The conversation was recorded – unbeknown to Humphrys – on a centralised system on Monday (January 8), and the audio was later leaked by a BBC staff member.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph about the fall-out from his comments, Humphrys appeared relaxed as he said he considered the matter “over and done with”.

“This is not something that’s going to dominate my existence. As far as I’m concerned, it’s over and done with,” Humphrys said. “If one could relive the last few days, I probably would not have done the same chat with Sopel. Or would I? Perhaps. It was just silly banter.

“Some nasty person decided that the world was entitled to hear it, and that one is not entitled to have private conversations.”

Back in October, Conservative cabinet minister Michael Gove was forced to apologise after facing a backlash for a joke he made about Harvey Weinstein on BBC Radio 4.