BBC pay: Top stars including Huw Edwards and Fiona Bruce take wage cuts

Scott Mills has entered the BBC’s top 10 rich list and Naga Munchetty received last year’s biggest pay rise, as other highly-paid stars at the corporation took salary cuts.

Gary Lineker remains the biggest earner with a salary of £1,360,000-1,364,999, although that is nearly £400,000 down on the previous year.

Zoe Ball is second in the list. She volunteered to take a pay cut following an outcry over her salary last year, but still earns over £1 million for the Radio 2 breakfast show.

Her pay now stands at £1,130,000-,1,349,999, down from around £1.36m. However, Tim Davie, the director-general, said the full reduction will not be reflected until next year’s figures, and that the figure will drop by another eight per cent.

The pay details were disclosed as part of the BBC’s annual report.

The highest paid BBC stars in 2021 (EMBARGOED TILL NOON)

BBC director-general Tim Davie has said discussions with the broadcaster’s top on-air talent over reducing their pay packets were "mutual and constructive".

The corporation’s annual report for 2020/21 shows it has slashed 10 percent from its pay bill for its biggest names, after some agreed to salary cuts or quit.

Biggest pay increases and decreases (BBC 2020-2021) (EMBARGOED TILL NOON)

Speaking during the launch of the report, Mr Davie said: "I am not going to give information on the specifics of the conversations. All I would say is I think everyone recognises the strategy, which is getting value to audiences and, without being funny, most conversations are mutual and constructive.

"Now, clearly as a management team, we want to get more value and we are willing to make tough decisions to that extent.

"I think these conversations have all been constructive, as with Zoe Ball where she came forward and said she wanted to adjust the salary. I think everyone is absolutely with the programme on that one."

Graham Norton has fallen out of the top 10 after leaving the BBC at the end of last year.

His departure makes room for Scott Mills, the Radio 1 and Radio 2 DJ, whose pay rose from £345,000-349,999 to £375,000-379,999.

Top 10 earners who saw their pay frozen or go down were Steve Wright, Huw Edwards, Fiona Bruce, Lauren Laverne, Vanessa Feltz and Alan Shearer.

The only top 10 presenter to take a pay rise was Stephen Nolan of BBC Northern Ireland, Radio Ulster and 5 Live, who saw his salary go up from £390,000-394,999 to £405,000-409,999.

Other presenters receiving significant pay rises include Naga Munchetty, whose salary went up by £60,000 from £195,000-199,999 to £255,000-259,999 – a rise of 31 per cent after she took on the 5 Live mid-morning show.

Naga Munchetty's salary went up by £60,000 from £195,000-199,999 to £255,000-259,999 – a rise of 31 per cent after she took on the 5 Live mid-morning show

Credit: BBC/PA

Faisal Islam, the BBC’s economics editor, Amol Rajan, Dan Walker and Greg James also saw their pay rise by at least £35,000.

New entries in the list this year include Louis Theroux, who signed a new documentaries deal with the BBC, and Winifred Robinson, the presenter of Radio 4’s You and Yours.

See the top male earners here:

Top ten – best paid male BBC presenters 2021 (EMBARGOED TILL NOON)

Michael Vaughan and Isa Guha, who cover cricket, are also on the list for the first time.

The top female earners can be seen here:

Top ten – best paid female BBC presenters (EMBARGOED TILL NOON)

Tim Davie said it was "absolutely appropriate" that the BBC did not disclose pay packets made through BBC Studios, its commercial arm.

Claudia Winkleman, who replaced Graham Norton as BBC Radio 2’s Saturday morning host, does not feature on the list this year, with her salary from hosting Strictly Come Dancing not included because it is a BBC Studios production.

Mr Davie said: "With regards to the public service payments to Claudia, she started her weekend show this February taking over from Graham, so that’s why this year she is not on the list.

"There is always the question on Studios. I would defend robustly that Studios, if we are as the public arm of the BBC buying shows from Studios, it is absolutely appropriate that that business does not disclose all of its individual costs, and that is where we are at."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *