BBC pays £229m a year in salaries for stars

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The Independent Online

The BBC spent £54m on its top-earning stars but their salaries accounted for just 1.6 per cent of the £3.6bn annual licence fee income, according to figures released yesterday.

As well as the £54m spent on artists, presenters, musicians and contributors on salaries of at least £150,000, £115m was spent on those earning up to £50,000, £44m on those earning between £50,000 and £100,000 and £16m on the £100,000 to £150,000 bracket. The BBC did not release details of individual salaries, saying they were commercially confidential, but top earners are reported to include Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton, Jeremy Paxman and Fiona Bruce.

The BBC, which came under fire for Ross's £6m-a-year deal, pays presenters, actors and other talent on its television and radio programmes a total of £229m a year. The amount being paid by the BBC, which also released the businesses expenses of 107 of its most senior staff, will now be published every year in the annual report. A total of £188,000 was claimed in expenses by 107 of the BBC's most senior staff between July and September 2009, a monthly average per executive of £586.

Politicians of all parties had urged the Corporation to reveal what it pays its stars, and cut what it pays its managers.