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Corporation publishes salaries

BBC facing backlash as pay list reveals ‘disparities’

Chris Evans: top earner

BBC bosses are facing a backlash after huge disparities were revealed between the salaries paid to top men and women.

Radio Two presenter Chris Evans has topped the list of the highest earners at the BBC.

He was paid between £2.2 million and £2.25m in 2016/2017, while Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman is the highest-paid female celebrity, earning between £450,000 and £500,000.

The figures emerged in a disclosure by the BBC of those paid more than £150,000. Of the 96 on the list many are known to earn more from outside income and from BBC Worldwide through overseas sales of programmes.

Some radio presenters are said to be threatening legal action after it was revealed that many are paid substantially less than men.

Graham Norton‘s £850,000 pay does not include his earnings from the production company, So TV, which makes his Friday night chat show. Norton is rumoured to receive more than £2.5m for his work with the BBC.

Match of the Day’s Gary Lineker earned between £1.75m and £1.8m while news presenter and Radio Two presenter Jeremy Vine earned between £700,000 and £749,000.

Director general Tony Hall admitted there was “more to do” on gender and diversity and the figures reveal large disparities between men and women and different racial groups.

George Alagiah, Jason Mohammad and Trevor Nelson are the highest paid black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) presenters, each receiving between £250,000 and £300,000.

The highest-paid female with a BAME background is BBC news presenter Mishal Hussain, who received between £200,000 and £250,000.

The gender pay gap is evident for those performing similar roles:

  • Huw Edwards (£550,000 to £599,999) and Fiona Bruce (£350,000 to £399,999)

  • John Humphrys (£600,000 to £649,999) and Mishal Husain (£200,000 to £250,000)

  • Gary Lineker (£1,750,000 to £1,799,999) and Clare Balding (£150,000 to £199,999)

  • Nick Knowles (£300,000 to £349,999) and Mel Giedroyc (£150,000 to £199,000)

  • Matt Baker (£450,000 to £499,000) and Alex Jones (£400,000 to £449,000)

  • Eddie Mair (£300,000 and £34,999) and Laura Kuenssberg (£200,000 and £249,999)

Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman and Bruno Tonoli are in the £200,000-£250,000 band, while Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell receive between £150,000 and £200,000.

Tess Daly, Ms Winkleman’s co-host, was paid between £350,000 and £400,000.

Emily Maitlis, the newsreader, Sarah Montague, the presenter of the Today programme on Radio 4, and Louise Minchin, who presents the Breakfast show, do not earn more than £150,000 a year according to the disclosure.

The salary payments are required under the BBC’s new Royal Charter and does not reveal exact amounts. They also only refer to the amount of licence fee money each person receives, not their earnings from other broadcasters or commercial activities.

Top Gear presenter Matt LeBlanc does not appear on the list as he is thought to be paid by the BBC’s commercial operation, BBC Worldwide, and not the licence fee.

BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker is shown as earning more than £200,000. He also presents Football Focus and was part of the Rio Olympics coverage.

Overall, 25 men on the talent list receive more than £250,000, compared to just nine women.

Chris Evans today said: “We are the ultimate public company I think, and therefore it’s probably right and proper people know what we get paid.”

Casualty’s Derek Thompson is the BBC’s highest paid actor, receiving between £350,000 and £400,000.

His co-star in drama, Amanda Mealing is the corporation’s highest paid actress, receiving between £250,000 and £300,000.

Peter Capaldi, the outgoing star of Doctor Who, was paid between £200,000 and £250,000.

The overall payment on salaries was £193.5m, against £198m spent in 2015/2016.

The figures also show a decrease – from 109 to 96 – in the amount of individuals paid more than £150,000.

The total spend on those with salaries of more than £150,000 is down £5m on the £31.9m paid in the previous financial year.

The BBC is preparing its staff for a backlash from those who believe many of the top names are overpaid for what they do.


Comment: Paying the price of BBC excess


Director General Tony Hall said its on-air talent “help make the BBC what it is”.

According to The Guardian, the BBC will allow its top names to defend themselves on social media. It has offered support and advice on dealing with the fallout.

It is understood BBC bosses have not issued any specific guidelines on social media engagement and will allow individuals to decide the extent of their public reaction to the disclosure.

Graham Norton: earnings exclude chat show

Hall said: “We’re in a market that is now even more competitive than ever. A decade ago it might have been just ITV or Sky or commercial radio. But now it’s Netflix, Amazon or Apple.

“But of course we all appreciate that we are dealing with the public’s money. We’re talking about what, to lots of people, are large sums. This is not something we can take lightly.

“That’s why we always try to pay people at a discount to the market. It’s why the bill for top talent is down by 10% year on year – down by a quarter over the last five years. And the amount we pay the very highest earners has dropped by 40% over the same period.

“We’re not afraid to walk away if money becomes an issue. That’s one of the reasons we’re the biggest investor in new British talent there is.”

Politics presenter Andrew Marr described the prospect of BBC staff having their salary made public as “uncomfortable for all of us”.

The full list:


Chris Evans, Radio 2 Breakfast Show presenter


Gary Lineker, Match of the Day presenter


Graham Norton, radio and television presenter


Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2 host


John Humphrys, presenter of Radio 4’s today programme and Mastermind


Huw Edwards, News presenter


Steve Wright, Radio 2 presenter


Claudia Winkleman, Strictly Come Dancing host

Matt Baker, Countryfile and One Show presenter


Andrew Marr, politics show host

Stephen Nolan, Radio Five Live presenter

Alan Shearer, Match of the Day pundit

Nicky Campbell, co-host of the breakfast show on 5 live with Rachel Burden – who is not on the list

Alex Jones, co-host of The One Show with Matt Baker


Fiona Bruce, News presenter and Antiques Roadshow host

Vanessa Feltz, Radio London presenter

Nick Grimshaw, Radio 1 Breakfast host

Simon Mayo, Radio 2 presenter

Tess Daly, Strictly Come Dancing host


Sue Barker, Question of Sport and Tennis presenter

Eddie Mair, presenter of Radio 4’s PM programme

Lauren Laverne,  Radio 6 Music presenter

Nick Knowles, DIY SOS host


Zoe Ball, Radio 2 host

Brian Cox, presenter

Evan Davis, host of Newsnight

Jason Mohammad, Welsh radio and television presenter

George Alagiah, News presenter

Nick Robinson, co-host of the Radio 4 Today programme

Scott Mills, Radio 1 host

Trevor Nelson, Radio 2 DJ

Ken Bruce, Radio 2 presenter

Amanda Mealing, plays Connie Beauchamp in Casualty

Derek Thompson, plays Charlie Fairhead in Casualty


Mark Chapman, Match of the Day 2 host

Jools Holland, presenter of Later

Dan Walker, Breakfast presenter

John Inverdale, sports host

Gabby Logan, sports host

Victoria Derbyshire, radio and television presenter

Mishal Husain, part of the Radio 4 Today presenting team

Martha Kearney, World at One host

Laura Kuenssberg, political editor

Andrew Neil, host of This Week

Jonathan Sopel, North America editor

Mark Radcliffe, Radio 2 host

Gary Barlow, Let It Shine host

Len Goodman, Strictly Come Dancing judge

Dannii Minogue, Let It Shine panellist

Bruno Tonioli, Strictly Come Dancing judge

Alan Yentob, presenter

Peter Capaldi, Dr Who

Danny Dyer, EastEnders actor

Emilia Fox, Silent Witness actress

David Jason, actor

Rosie Marcel, Jacqueline Naylor in Holby City

Adam Woodyatt, Ian Beale in EastEnders


Naga Munchetty, news presenter

Adrian Chiles, sports presenter

Greg James, Radio 1 host

Shaun Keaveny, Radio 6 Music presenter

Moira Stuart, Radio 2 newsreader

Jo Whiley, Radio 2 host

Jonathan Agnew, cricket broadcaster

Clare Balding, sports presenter

Jonathan Davies, sports presenter

John McEnroe, sports presenter

Darcey Bussell, Strictly Come Dancing judge

Mel Giedroyc, former Bake Off co-presenter

Craig Revel-Horwood, Strictly Come Dancing judge

Paul Martin, Hidden Heritage presenter

Simon Schama, historian

Kamal Ahmed, Economics Editor

Jeremy Bowen, Middle East Editor

Ben Brown, news presenter

Mark Easton, Home Editor

Gavin Esler, news presenter

James Naughtie, broadcaster

John Pienaar, political broadcaster

Sophie Raworth, news presenter

John Simpson, World Affairs Editor

Kirsty Wark, the Newsnight host

Justin Webb, the Today host

Laurie Brett, who plays Jane Beale in EastEnders

Letitia Dean, who played Sharon Watts in EastEnders

Tameka Empson, former EastEnders actress

Guy Henry, who plays Henrik Hanssen in Holby City

Linda Henry, who plays Shirley Carter in EastEnders

Scott Maslen, who plays Jack Branning in EastEnders

Diane Parish, who plays Denise Fox in EastEnders

Hugh Quarshie, who plays Ric Griffin in Holby City

Jemma Redgrave, who plays Bernie Wolfe in Holby City

Tim Roth, the actor

Catherine Shipton, who plays Duffy in Casualty

Gillian Taylforth, who plays Kathy Beale in EastEnders

Lacey Turner, who plays Stacey Branning in EastEnders

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