London, Dec. 13 (ANI): Top BBC personalities have blasted the production of a 'Top Talent' league table that has ranked big names in four 'divisions' according to their popularity.
Many BBC presenters have expressed their surprise at the rankings, which see BBC's creative director Alan Yentob heading the "Top Tier - Highly Valued" category, alongside Stephen Fry, Nigella Lawson, Jeremy Paxman and Jeremy Clarkson.
Lesser known presenters, such as Kate Humble, the wildlife presenter, Jimmy Doherty, the TV farmer, and Charlie Brooker, the host of BBC4's Screenwipe, also appear in the top division, The Telegraph reports.
Meanwhile, household names including Delia Smith, Professor Robert Winston and Michael Palin are consigned to the bottom category, entitled "Occasional sparkle but limited appeal".
Other hugely popular personalities including Paul Merton, Ian Hislop, Alan Titchmarsh, Ben Fogle, Monty Don and Melvyn Bragg are deemed to have only "average appeal".
Ben Fogle, a former Countryfile presenter, expressed his surprise at the league table, saying: "I've got quite a thick skin from over ten years working in television so I'm not totally offended by being called average.
"I'm more surprised at some of the other people's ranking in the charts. I was very surprised to see Michael Palin down at the bottom. He's a hero of mine so I find that slightly inexplicable. I can't quite gauge it," he added.
Palin himself, one of Britain's best known comic actors and travel presenters, said he was surprised that he appeared in the bottom category.
"I like the occasional sparkle part, but I'm not so sure about the rest. It's not much of a professional accolade," he said.
James May, who appeared in the top "Highly Valued" category, said the league table was likely to cause embarrassment for many of the BBC's best-known presenters.
"I'm slightly surprised to find myself in the top tier and other people might be slightly surprised to find themselves not in the top tier," he said. (ANI)