Avalon’s advert, spotted by The Stage, said it needed “extras for a shoot with Al Murray”, promising that those who participate will “be part of our television show’s title sequence” and have the chance to “meet Al and have a laugh”. But it continued: “This is not a paid position.”
Equity and BECTU confronted the production company, which makes the shows Not Going Out and Harry Hill’s TV Burp. Spencer MacDonald, national official at BECTU who looks after the interests of the union’s members working as background artists and extras, told The Stage that “those working as extras on this TV show should receive minimum wage”.
MacDonald said he was pleased that “Avalon has acted swiftly and agreed that the work will paid”. He said: “Nevertheless, BECTU deplores the companies that send out a cheery message that working for free is good for them and exploit the love people have for this industry.”