Most of top 20 earners at the BBC are still men – and their pay is still huge

BBC bosses claim to have made “great progress” in closing the ­gender pay gap – despite just two women appearing in the list of top 20 highest earners.

The number of women earning above £150,000 has risen from 14 last year to 22 after pay hikes for eight female stars.

Bosses have promised to make it 28 by 2019 – way below the 41 men who will remain in the high-earning bracket.

Figures released in the Corporation’s annual report today also revealed that no women earn £400,000, compared with 12 men who fall into the category.

The highest paid is Match of the Day’s Gary Lineker, on £1.75-£1.76million, who overtakes Radio 2 host Chris Evans.

He is down to £1.66-£1.67million from £2.25million because he quit Top Gear.

The highest-paid woman is still Claudia Winkleman, even though this year’s earnings – for the period April 2017 to March 2018 – do not include her main role on Strictly Come Dancing.

She earned £370-£380,000 for her Radio 2 show and other TV shows, compared with £450-£500,000 last year.

Next is Radio 2 and Radio London host Vanessa Feltz on £330-£340,000.

The BBC said that nearly 40% of the top earners are women, compared with 25% last year. Those who are on the list for the first time are Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis (£220-£230,000), Today’s Sarah Montague (£160-£170,000) and Europe Editor Katya Adler (£170-£180,000).

They were joined by Woman’s Hour’s Jane Garvey (£150-£160,000), ­Newsbeat’s (£150-£160,000), Scotland editor Sarah Smith (£150-£160,000) and 5 Live breakfast presenter Rachel Burden (£150-£160,000).

Mary Berry makes the list for the first time, earning £190-£200,000 for shows she has made since The Great British Bake Off moved to Channel 4. Last year she did not make the list because Bake Off was made by an external company.

Today it remained unclear how BBC bosses were going to achieve their stated aim of getting more female presenters into the top 20 high earners.

Director general Tony Hall said: “Today’s figures are not an accurate reflection of the progress we’ve made.

“Let no one say we’ve been idle. But let no one say we are satisfied – we have much more to do.”

He has pledged to achieve a 50-50 gender pay split in top earners by 2020.

The salaries of stars of programmes including Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing, Planet Earth II, Doctor Who, Mrs Brown’s Boys, EastEnders, Casualty and The One Show are “hidden”, or only have portions of wages shown, because the shows are created by BBC Studios, classed as an outside company.

This leaves many women off the list including The One Show’s Alex Jones, on £400-£450,000, and Strictly stars Tess Daly (£350-£400,000) and Zoe Ball (£250-£300,000).

Fiona Bruce’s £180-£190,000 pay would be far higher if The Antiques Roadshow was taken into account. Last year she earned £350-£400,000. Others missing this year include Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark, who was in the £150-£200,000 bracket last year.

EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City are all made by BBC Studios, meaning actors including Amanda Mealing, who last year earned £250-£300,000, no longer feature on the list.

Hall said the pay gap stood at 7.6% rather than 9.3% a year ago and had been “broadly cost neutral” thanks to hefty pay cuts taken by high-earning male news hosts and correspondents.

John Humphrys dropped from £600-£650,000 to £400-£410,000, Huw Edwards from £550-£600,000 to £520-£530,000 and Jeremy Vine from £700-£750,000 to £440k-£449,999.

Humphrys’ salary will fall to below £300,000 over the next 12 months, sources said, while Radio 5 Live star Nicky Campbell’s pay will drop to £350,000 and newsreader Edwards’ wage to “well below” £500,000.

Graham Norton remains the BBC’s third highest earner despite the fee for his BBC1 chat show being off the list.

He earns around £600,000 for his Radio 2 show and other TV work. Alan Shearer is on £410-£420,000 as a Match of the Day pundit.

Last year, the corporation published the salaries of 96 people for the
first time.

It catapulted the broadcaster into turmoil, with China editor Carrie Gracie resigning over unequal pay.

Jane Garvey said: “I am incredibly well paid. Female broadcasters, ­journalists and producers at the BBC are a privileged bunch.

“In the last year, we’ve used that privilege to start a conversation about equal pay. There’s still a long way to go… not just at the BBC.”

…Rest of the best paid women trailing behind

  • Gabby Logan, sports presenter £230k-£240k
  • Lauren Laverne, Radio6Music presenter £230k-£240k
  • Mishal Husain, Today presenter, £220k-£230k
  • Laura Kuenssberg, political editor, £220k-£230k
  • Emily Maitlis, Newsnight presetner, £220k-£230k
  • Victoria Derbyshire, Radio 5 Live presenter, £210k-£220k
  • Sophie Raworth, BBC News at One anchor, £200k-£210k
  • Martha Kearney, World at One host, £200k-£210k

Comment by Nicola Methven, TV Editor

No heart is going to bleed for any of these very highly paid presenters.

But the latest revelations show the BBC gender pay gap is still huge.

Perhaps the best examples are in BBC Sport, where John McEnroe (£190k-£200k) is paid more than Clare Balding just for doing Wimbledon. She gets £180k-£190k for hosting Wimbledon, The Winter Olympics,

equestrian events, The Boat Race, World Track Cycling, Sports Personality of the Year and radio work.

In news, Sophie Raworth gets £210k for 180 days news anchoring on BBC1. George Alagiah is on £300k.

Claudia Winkleman tops £700k but no one else is close. Vanessa Feltz, on £340k, fronts 440 shows. Many men get way more, for far less.

The sums are not in dispute, it’s the principles behind them.

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