BBC reveal no women among top 12 highest earners

Latest list follows last year's tumultuous gender pay gap row that saw China editor Carrie Gracie resign

Lucy Pasha-Robinson@lucypasha
Wednesday 11 July 2018 13:11
Lineker replaces Chris Evans at the top, earning £1.75m – around £1.3m more than its highest earning woman, Claudia Winkleman
Lineker replaces Chris Evans at the top, earning £1.75m – around £1.3m more than its highest earning woman, Claudia Winkleman

The BBC has revealed the identity of its 12 highest earners – a list that includes no women.

An annual report released by the corporation disclosing the salaries of all on-air staff showed Gary Lineker is now its highest paid employee with a salary of £1.75m; Claudia Winkleman, its highest paid woman, earns between £450,000 and £500,000.

Lineker replaces Chris Evans at the top, who is shown to be earning between £1.6m and £1.7m for his Radio 2 Breakfast show.

Broadcasters Steve Wright, Huw Edwards, Jeremy Vine, Alan Shearer, Nicky Campbell, Nick Grimshaw and Stephen Nolan also feature in the top 10.

The list garnered widespread criticism from media pundits and politicians.

ITV’s Robert Peston wrote on Twitter: “This is definitely a spoof. All men. All white. Simply not possible.”

The Women’s Equality Party wrote: “Last year, the top seven were all men – this time, it’s the top 12. This is not what progress looks like.”

The BBC argued that the list, which features employees earning over £150,000, does not reflect the true balance of payments to men and women, as salaries through BBC Studios (which is not funded by the licence fee and became a commercial entity) are not included.

A corporation source said: “The BBC has come a long way in a short period of time. The job is not done yet, but we are making good progress.”

It comes after salaries of the broadcaster’s top talent were published for the first time last year, plunging the corporation into a tumultuous equal pay row that saw China editor Carrie Gracie resign in protest.

The BBC has since announced pay cuts for some of its male talent, including John Humphrys, Jeremy Vine and Huw Edwards, but white, male stars continue to make up the corporations highest earners.

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However, the corporation said recent figures showed it had reduced its gender pay gap by nearly a fifth.

It also said changes to pay packets in recent months were not reflected, as the list was compiled from salaries up to April this year.

There were also new women on the list who did not appear last year. Mary Berry featured for the first time, showing the former Great British Bake Off judge earns between £190,000 to £199,999 “for a range of programmes and series”.

Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis also appeared to have received a payrise. Maitlis, who was absent from the list last year despite co-host Evan Davis appearing, took home between £220,000 and £229,999.

Woman’s Hour host Jane Garvey, who has been outspoken in her criticism of the gender pay gap, is another new name and was paid between £150,000 and £159,000 for work which also includes programmes on 5 Live and episodes of Fortunately.

Other female stars to appear this year include Newsbeat’s Tina Daheley, who was paid between £150,000 and £159,000, which also includes cover for BBC Breakfast and Victoria Derbyshire.

This year’s report also features 5 Live Breakfast’s Rachel Burden, Europe editor Katya Adler and Scotland editor and Sunday Politics journalist Sarah Smith.

On Wednesday, salaries were revealed in bands of £10,000 rather than last year’s £50,000, after discussions with the government over transparency.

The BBC also published the detail of which programmes its stars have worked on, which it hopes “will help ensure that more informed comparisons can be made”, according to a BBC source.

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