Bill Bailey has accused the BBC of treating its stars with contempt after he was ‘sidelined’ from Never Mind The Buzzcocks.
He says the corporation expected him to cancel his live work – including a West End run and a tour involving a full orchestra – when they changed the recording dates of the pop show.
After five years with Buzzcocks, Bailey missed three episodes of series 23 in late 2007, when he was replaced by Noel Fielding – who went on to take the job permanently.
In an interview published today, Bailey said: ‘I was basically sidelined from the show.
‘Buzzcocks normally records in October and the BBC moved the recordings forward two months and so it clashed with a lot of stuff I'd already booked. I'd had a tour of Australia, an orchestra tour and a West End run. They said, “Could you just cancel them?”
‘I thought, how utterly contemptuous do the BBC treat their artists? Thinking I'm sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring. You've got to get on with things. How rude are you to just assume I'm going to knock these things on the head? I said, “I can't do it - I can't cancel these shows”.
‘They said, “How many can you do?”, and I could do seven or eight out of 12 or something and they said, “Well that's not enough”, and I said, “Well there you go…”’