Entertainment

BBC rich list reveals its biggest earners as gender pay gap widens

G

ary Lineker again tops the BBC’s rich list earning around £1.3 million a year — as the corporation warned it expects more people to join its top earners.

Accounts published on Tuesday reveal other big earners to include Radio 2’s Zoe Ball who gets between £980,000 and £984,999, Radio 1’s Scott Mills who is on between £400,000 and £404,999 and Lineker’s Match of the Day co-star Alan Shearer, who earns between £450,000 and £454,999.

One newcomer to the list, former women’s footballer Alex Scott, earns between £195,000 to £199,999, more than £1.1 million less than Lineker.

One newcomer to the list, former women’s footballer Alex Scott, earns between £195,000 to £199,999

/ PA

The BBC lists on-air stars earning above £150,000 a year in bands of £5,000 so exact salaries are not revealed and it does not include all its top earners. Notable absentees include Graham Norton, whose chat show is made by BBC Studios which is regarded as a commercial entity, with the same reason prohibiting the publication of pay for the stars of shows including EastEnders and Top Gear.

In its annual report, the corporation said: “We continue to operate in extremely competitive markets for talent, with inflation levels for pay often well above the average for the UK economy. This pressure, taken with the fixed £150,000 entry point to the list, suggests that more individuals will appear on these lists over time.”

While Lineker’s pay of £1,350,000 to £1,354,999 is likely to see him stay the top earner for years to come, the BBC has been able to save money on high wages paid to famous faces including Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, who earned £325,000 to £329,999 and BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker who was paid £220,000 to £224,999, as they have left the corporation.

Notable absentees include Graham Norton, whose chat show is made by BBC Studios

/ Getty Images for Paramount+

Maitlis has now signed up with Global Radio, alongside another ex-BBC star, Jon Sopel, while Walker is now the face of Channel 5’s news output.

Another big earner, radio veteran Steve Wright, who is paid between £450,000 and £454,999, is also likely to see his pay fall having lost his primetime afternoon show — though he will continue broadcasting on Radio 2.

The gender pay gap, the difference between what men and women are paid for broadly the same work, rose slightly from a mean of five per cent last year to 5.1 per cent this year but is down from 10.7 per cent in 2017. The issue has been a huge embarrassment for the BBC with famous faces including Samira Ahmed challenging it on the issue.

The BBC has been able to save money on high wages paid to famous faces including BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker who was paid £220,000 to £224,999 as he has left

/ PA

She won an employment tribunal two years ago, saying she was owed almost £700,000 in back pay as she got £440 an episode for hosting Newswatch against the £3,000 per episode Jeremy Vine received for hosting Points of View.

A BBC spokesperson said the corporation generated £2.63 for the wider economy for every £1 it spent while its commercial arm, BBC Studios, made a profit of £226 million.

It said it had also made £274 million in annual savings but the report admitted that due to the freezing of the licence fee for two years from 2022/23 it would need to save £285 million a year by 2027/28.

The report also detailed 53 formal cases of bullying and harassment in 2021/22, down from 62 the year before, and 33 cases of whistleblowing on issues including theft and fraud — up from 22 the year before.

Tim Davie, the BBC Director-General, said they were “creating a better, more agile and leaner BBC” but added that “there is no room for complacency”. He said: “The future is not without challenges, but we have exciting plans.”

Other names in the top 10 include Northern Irish radio and television presenter Stephen Nolan (£415,000 to £419,999) and broadcasters Huw Edwards (£410,000 to £414,999), Vanessa Feltz (£400,000 to £404,999), Greg James (£390,000 to £394,999), Ken Bruce (£385,000 to £389,999) and Lauren Laverne (£380,000 to £384,999).

The report shows black employees face a median pay gap of 8.6 per cent compared to 0.3 per cent for Asian staff.

The BBC’s top on-screen big earners:

1) Gary Lineker £1,350,000 to £1,354,999

2) Zoe Ball £980,000 to £984,999

3) Steve Wright £450,000 to £454,999 //

Alan Shearer £450,000 to £454,999

4) Stephen Nolan £415,000 to £419,999

5) Huw Edwards £410,000 to £414,999

6) Scott Mills £400,000 to £404,999

Vanessa Feltz £400,000 to £404,999

7) Greg James £390,000 to £394,999

8) Ken Bruce £385,000 to £389,999

9) Lauren Laverne £380,000 to £384,999

10) Naga Munchetty £365,000 to £369,999

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