Ever wondered how much Laura Kuenssberg, Andrew Marr and Gary Lineker earn at the BBC?
Today the broadcasting house has revealed it in the publication of the corporation’s annual report.
Timeline for BBC
- February 2, 2017
The salaries of anyone earning more than £150,000 a year are all listed.
How many people are on the list?
A total of 96 stars are on the list, taking home a combined pay cheque of almost £30m.
Those included range from journalists like Fiona Bruce and John Humphrys, to presenters such as Graham Norton and Claudia Winkelman.
The BBC has been criticised in the past for paying such high wages, particularly as the bill is footed by the TV licence fee payer, and the Beeb has been forced to carry out cost-cutting exercises over the past few years.
Secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Karen Bradley, said the BBC should publish its high-earners salaries to bring it in “in line with the civil service” on transparency.
BBC director general Lord Hall has said that the overall talent bill has been reduced by more than £4m over the last financial year.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:
I completely understand that to lots of people these are very large sums but we are a broadcaster, a global broadcaster, in a very competitive market. And we have to be competitive, but not foolishly.
Who are the BBC’s highest earning stars?
1. Chris Evans, radio and TV presenter
£2.2m — £2.249m
Evans wins as the BBC’s highest paid star.
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He has been working on BBC Radio for over 20 years, starting on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show back in 1995, and now currently presents The Chris Evans Breakfast Show every weekday morning on Radio 2.
Evens last year stepped down from presenting the revamped car review show Top Gear after ratings and reviews tumbled.
Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that's not enough. The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best.
— Chris Evans (@achrisevans) July 4, 2016
2. Gary Lineker, TV presenter
£1.75m — £1.79m
This morning, Lineker tweeted, “Where’s my tin helmet”, presumably as a way to prepare himself for the backlash he would later receive as the second-highest paid person on the list.
The ex-footballer presents Match of The Day and is known for presenting the show in his pants after a bet he made that his old club Leicester wouldn’t win the Premier League.
Happy BBC salary day. I blame my agent and the other TV channels that pay more. Now where did I put my tin helmet?
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 19, 2017
3. Graham Norton, TV presenter
£850,000 — £899,999
Known for his sharp wit, Norton is much-loved at the BBC for his scathing coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest every year and The Graham Norton Show on Friday nights.
4. Jeremy Vine, radio and TV presenter
£700,000 — £749,999
Remember the week that former Labour leader Ed Miliband took over a Radio 2 show?
Jeremy Vine gets paid over £700,000 a year to do that every week. He also gets to present the BBC’s Election Night graphics.
5. John Humphrys, radio and TV presenter
£600,000 — £649,000
Humphrys presents the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme and the quiz show Mastermind, and is now for his forthright interviewing style which mainly sees him interrupting his interviewees a lot.
Even if they’re just tennis players.
6. Huw Edwards — TV presenter
£550,000 — £599,999
Edwards caused a stir a few weeks ago when a technical glitch at the start of the BBC News at 10 meant the anchor was sitting in silence, on air, for four minutes.
It was seen as a poignant moment in television after the UK had been hit by a series of tragedies over the past few months from terror attacks in London and Manchester and the Grenfell Tower fire.
7. Steve Wright, radio presenter
£500,000 – £549,000
Wright is the highest-paid radio presenter on the list, with two shows on Radio 2.
On weekdays, he presents Steve Wright in the Afternoon, whilst on Sunday mornings you can catch him on Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs.
8. Claudia Winkelman, TV presenter
£450,000 — £499,999
Claudia Winkelman, who presents BBC’s prime-time Saturday night show, Strictly Come Dancing, is the highest-paid women on the list.
Winkelman was all for the publication of the list. Last year, she said:
We’re working for the public, so why shouldn’t they know. We get paid an awful lot of money and it’s a marketplace. It’s bonkers.
9. Matt Baker
£450,000 — £499,999
A cheerful Northerner, Baker is well-known for his time as a presenter on the children’s TV show, Blue Peter, and in his role as presenter on the weeknight cultural programme, The One Show.
10. This one’s a tie
Andrew Marr, Stephen Nolan, Nicky Campbell all make up the £400,000 – £449,000 bracket
See the full list here.
What is the gender breakdown?
Around one-third of the names on the high-earning list belong to women, something Lord Hall has said he wants to improve.
He said he wants to close the gender pay gap and improve equality on TV radio by 2020 but maintains that the BBC is “pushing faster than any other major broadcaster”.
The shadow culture secretary, Labour’s Tom Watson, said in a statement:
It’s wrong that only a third of the BBC’s highest paid stars are women, and we welcome Lord Hall’s commitment to close the gender pay gap by 2020. It would be good to see a similar commitment, and similar levels of transparency, from other media organisations — especially those who are criticising the BBC today.
What else is on the list?
Alongside the high-earning salaries, the annual report looks at the performance of the BBC over the past year, it’s finances and spending.
It will also include TV and radio viewing figures and online engagement.
The TV viewing figures will be interesting in particular, as it will show how the BBC is standing up to the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Is the BBC worried about the fallout?
Lord Hall has said he thinks the publishing of the salaries is a bad idea, as it could tempt other broadcasters with more money to poach stars.
For instance, the corporation reportedly lost out on this year’s series of the ever-popular The Great British Bake-Off after Channel 4 offered to pay the presenters, and the production company, more money than the BBC could.
However, it looks like the BBC press office is trying to remain positive ahead of publication.
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) July 19, 2017
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