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Daily Mail: Shell pays BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James £100,000 to front campaign plugging the oil company’s ‘green’ credentials

Radio 1 DJ Greg James was paid £100,000 by oil giant Shell to front an online campaign which plugged the company’s ‘green’ credentials.

The Breakfast Show presenter, who is paid £229,999 a year by the BBC, is the latest star to be accused of cashing in on their public profiles by moonlighting for corporate firms.

The 34-year-old, who broadcasts to around 5.6 million listeners each Monday to Thursday, fronted a five-part series for Shell called The Great Travel Hack.

The Top Gear-style programme followed two teams of competitors racing from London to Istanbul while using environmentally friendly vehicles.

Sources close to the PR campaign last night claimed that James was paid £100,000 to feature in the videos, which have been watched an astonishing 81 million times since Shell uploaded them to its YouTube channel last October.

The BBC star was last night condemned for ‘selling his soul’ by plugging Shell, which has come under sustained criticism for its continued investment in fossil fuels.

James kept quiet about the Shell project on his social media accounts. But a Twitter post by Shell has attracted criticism.

Adam McGibbon, senior climate campaigner at environmental group Global Witness, wrote: ‘How does it feel to take blood money from climate criminals? You are acting as a reputation launderer for an organisation destroying my future. Are you a useful idiot or a greedy cynic?’

James recently sold his Mercedes for an electric car. But his Shell payday is unlikely to endear him to his father-in-law, former editor of The Guardian Alan Rusbridger, who has been an outspoken critic against ‘aggressive fossil fuel companies’.

The BBC has recently faced questions over why it allows its highly paid stars to pocket tens of thousands of pounds for speaking engagements.

The corporation has faced a furore over presenter salaries, but it is still allowing them to pick up five-figure sums on their days off.

The row began after The Mail on Sunday disclosed that Kamal Ahmed, the BBC’s editorial director, was paid £12,000 to give a speech to hedge fund managers just days after telling 450 of his colleagues they faced the sack.

Following our report – and a backlash from staff – he waived his fee.

Last weekend, a senior BBC source said the corporation would review its rules on ‘moonlighting’ staff after it emerged that Radio 4 Today presenter Mishal Husain was paid to appear at events organised by the Norwegian oil and gas industry.

Last night, Shell refused to say how much James was paid.

A BBC spokesman said: ‘Our editorial guidelines allow presenters to take on external commitments provided they abide by the relevant terms.’

Representatives for James did not respond to requests for comment.


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