Gary Lineker remains at the top of the list of BBC stars – FBC News


Gary Lineker has been awarded £1.36m for presenting Game of the Day and Sports Personality of the Year. [Source: BBC News]

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker topped a list of the BBC’s highest-paid stars for the fifth year in a row, earning £1.35million in the last financial year.

That’s down slightly from the £1.36million he earned the previous year, after taking a £1.75million pay cut.

Radio 2 breakfast show host Zoe Ball is second on the new list, with £980,000. She was also earning more before, but took a 28% pay cut at the end of 2020.

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She is one of three women in the top 10 this year, up from four last year.

Fiona Bruce and Vanessa Feltz also made the cut again, but 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne dropped out of the top 10 after her salary dropped from £15,000 to £380,000.

The figures were published in the company’s latest annual report, which also showed a sharp drop in the time UK adults spend watching TV each day.

Average viewing fell from eight hours and 11 minutes in 2020/21 to seven hours and 12 minutes in 2021/22, although some of this drop could be explained by people watching less than they did so at the height of the pandemic. However, iPlayer usage increased by around 12%.

Meanwhile, 90% of the UK population continues to use BBC services on a weekly basis.

The list of star salaries does not include all presenters and actors because the company’s commercial arm, BBC Studios, which makes many programs, does not have to publish its talent spend.

So, for example, Claudia Winkleman is only listed for her weekly Radio 2 show and not for presenting Strictly Come Dancing, which is produced by BBC Studios.

Graham Norton dropped the list entirely after quitting his Saturday Radio 2 show in December 2020, while charges for his TV chat show, which is made for BBC One by his commercial company So Television, are not listed.

Seventy-four people on air earning over £150,000 have been listed this year, with a similar gender split to last year – 41 men (55%) and 33 women (45%). Former chief executive Tony Hall promised the gap would be closed by 2020.

Radio 1 breakfast host Greg James is the only new top 10 entry, with Huw Edwards the only name besides Lineker in the top 10 to have seen a pay cut. The newscaster’s earnings have fallen from £425,000 in 2020/21 to £410,000 in 2021/22.

Some got a raise, with Alan Shearer getting a £60,000 pay rise. He now earns £450,000 a year for his work on football shows including Match of the Day.

Scott Mills, who is leaving Radio 1 to take Steve Wright’s afternoon slot on Radio 2 later this year, has been given a £15,000 raise. Wright also got a £15,000 pay rise, although his pay is likely to be reduced next year when he leaves his current daytime show.

There are no ethnic minority broadcasters in the top 10.

The gender pay gap has widened for the first time since the BBC started recording its figures in 2017.

It now stands at 5.9%, up from 5.2% a year ago.

The BBC said this could be due to several factors, including attrition – the loss of employees to retirement, dismissal or resignation who are not subsequently replaced.

While there was no pay gap for ethnic minority staff at the BBC in last year’s report, there is now a gap of 1.6%, while the he wage gap for people with disabilities has increased from 4% to 5.9%.

The payroll for all on-air talent is down slightly to £129.8m. Last year it was £130million.

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