Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BBC's Top Male Stars Still Paid More Than Women -- but Bosses Insist They Are Closing the Gap

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BBC's Top Male Stars Still Paid More Than Women -- but Bosses Insist They Are Closing the Gap

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Prynn Consumer Business Editor

THE number of male stars at the BBC paid more than PS400,000 rose from 10 to 12 last year despite huge efforts by bosses to reduce the gender gap.

No women received salaries in that bracket, latest figures for "on air talent" revealed today. However, the Corporation insisted it had made "really significant steps" towards equalling the pay of male and female presenters and correspondents.

The claim follows a huge row last year when the BBC revealed a detailed breakdown of stars' pay for the first time, showing that two thirds of those earning more than PS150,000 were men.

The report and accounts for the year to April reveal that the highest-paid star at the BBC last year was Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker, who received between PS1.75 million and PS1.76 million, roughly the same as the previous year.

Next came Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, who got between PS1.66 million and PS1.67 million, followed by chat show host Graham Norton, whose pay was between PS600,000 and PS609,999.

The figures also show that a yawning pay gap remains at the flagship Today programme on Radio 4, the centre of the most bitter storm about unequal rewards last year.

However, the gap has begun to narrow after male presenters accepted big pay cuts. Veteran presenter John Humphrys saw his total pay fall from between PS600,000 and PS649,000 to between PS400,000 and PS409,999. BBC sources said that in the current financial year his pay would be "below PS300,000".

Former Today presenter Sarah Montague, who last year said she was "incandescent with rage" when she learned that she was paid far less than her male colleagues, appears to have secured a big pay rise. Her salary is listed at between PS160,000 and PS169,999 compared with PS133,000 the previous year. The number of men earning more than PS400,000 falls to seven in the current year. …

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