In an effort to increase transparency, the BBC, which is effectively a public sector business, has been pushed into releasing a yearly list of their top-earning stars, actors and presenters.

The BBC Pay Report

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The list contains the names of 96 men and women who earn over £150,000, a salary which for most people is a huge amount and way above the national average wage.

Although often referred to as free-to-air as well as being included in the Freeview viewing package, the BBC is in fact paid for by virtually every person in the country via the TV licence fee.

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Public Scrutiny

The licence currently stands at £147 a year, and whilst not as expensive as a satellite or cable subscription, it is still a pretty big chunk of an average person’s household bills. Because of this, the BBC’s spending habits and wage bills are coming under more and more public scrutiny.

The BBC Pay Report2

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Top Earners

The two highest earners are TV and radio presenter Chris Evans and sports presenter Gary Lineker, who are on around £2.2 million and £1.75 million respectively.

Out of the top ten earners, Claudia Winkleman is the only woman, coming in at eighth place with around £450,000 for TV presenting and her radio show.


After the publication of the list, the BBC has been accused by many of pay discrimination. Of the 96 named on the list, only 34 were women.

The top seven earners are all male, and in the top ten only one is a woman.

As the Guardian pointed out, the list illustrates a disturbing gender based pay gap.

Even male and female presenters or stars doing the exact same job are shown to be on starkly different pay levels. For example, Huw Edwards and Fiona Bruce have around a £200,000 difference in their pay levels, or more shockingly, Gary Lineker and Claire Balding have a gap of around £1.5 million.

However, the BBC has been quick to say they are committed to closing this gender gap in pay and aim to do so by 2020.