Martha Kearney says she experienced horrible and humiliating sexual harassment as young

Martha Kearney experienced “horrible and humiliating” sexual harassment as young reporter, she has revealed. The Today Programme presenter, now 60, said that in her early career as a journalist in Westminster she experienced groping, which she was afraid to report. “I didn’t complain. It was the world of work, the rough and tumble of the newsroom. The young women I work with at Today have zero tolerance. I hope #MeToo will make a difference,” she told the Radio Times. She said she regretted never speaking out about the harassment because she was too intimidated by her senior colleagues. “I wish I’d felt stronger, less intimidated, but in my 20s, bosses were powerful people,” she said, rejecting the idea that such an experience could be “character-forming”. She also said that the Today programme, which she joined in April from the World at One, had a “spirit of camaraderie”. “When I’ve looked slightly rabbit-in-the-headlights, or I’ve not had my script to hand, they have stepped in for me,” she added. The programme has been criticised for its confrontational style, particularly in relation to senior presenter John Humphrys. But Ms Kearney said the controversial presenter had been “very helpful” when she started the new role, though she disputed the idea that she had been hired to make the show gentler. She added that she believed the BBC was “moving in the right direction” in terms of equal pay for male and female presenters.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “I’ve done enough stories about equal pay over the years for Woman’s Hour to know about the structural problems there are, and the need to make workplaces more family-friendly and so on, but there’s something else going on, I think it’s unconscious bias at all large organisations,” she said. “I think we wait and see what happens and whether the BBC makes good on its promises.”The corporation was embroiled in controversy last year when it published pay details of its most highly-paid staff, which showed that a third of top earners were female and the top seven were all male.In the wake of the scandal several presenters, including Humphrys, who was previously paid £600,000 and £649,999 in 2016/17, have agreed to take pay cuts. Kearney also appeared on the list of high earners, in the £200,000-£249,999 bracket, the same as fellow Today presenter Mishal Husain. The #MeToo movement, which grew out of allegations of abuse made against powerful Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, has engulfed several industries, with sexual harassment allegations surfacing in media, journalism and arts circles.