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‘Julie Burchill on being hated, a career in journalism and performing monkeys’

A five year column at The Guardian newspaper ended in acrimony in 2003 – Julie says she was outraged to be offered a sofa in place of a pay rise and maintains fellow writer Barbara Ellen had a similar experience.

“Instead of offering me a rise at The Guardian, they offered me a new sofa. Barbara Ellen is also one of the few people who was working class in origin and didn’t go to university. Then I found out they had offered Barbara a kitchen, so while Polly Toynbee and her ilk get paid in actual money – we weren’t worthy of money. We were worthy of a fucking sofa. I didn’t feel rage to myself, but when I found they had done what they had done to Barbara Ellen, I was so fucking cross. There is no other way I can interpret this, we were the only people working at the newspaper who hadn’t been to university and weren’t middle class women.”

The Times then took her on and paid her “double the money” …


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