Theresa May criticises BBC for 'paying women less for doing same job as men'

Theresa May criticises BBC for 'paying women less for doing same job as men'
Top of the list are Chris Evans, Gary Lineker and Graham Norton

Update 4.57pm: Theresa May has criticised the BBC for paying women less than men for doing the same job and insisted the organisation must continue publishing its top salaries to prove it is tackling the problem.

Documents setting out the pay for staff on more than £150,000 showed a shocking gap in the earnings of the corporation's most well-known male and female presenters and actors, with Radio 2's Chris Evans topping the list on more than £2 million while the highest paid woman was Claudia Winkleman on between £450,000-£499,999.

Mrs May said it was important the BBC "looks at the whole question of how they pay women and how they pay men for doing the same job".

She told LBC: "I think what has happened today is we have seen the way the BBC is paying women less for doing the same job as the men.

"I want to see women paid equally with men. The only reason we know about this though is because the Government required the BBC to publish these figures.

"The Director-General, Lord Hall, has said that he wants to change this, he wants to make progress, he wants to abolish this gender pay gap.

"We want to see him doing that too. I think it is important the BBC carries on publishing figures in the future so we can see the progress they are making."

Earlier: The BBC has revealed its top talent pay - with DJ Chris Evans topping the list pocketing over £2 million.

The report reveals only one third of the staff earning over £150,000 are women, with the top names being men. Details of stars' pay was revealed in £50,000 bands.

And there could be embarrassment for the presenters of flagship Radio 4 programme, Today.

John Humphrys earns between £600,000 and £649,000, for the morning news programme and other work, including presenting Mastermind.

Nick Robinson is on £250,000 to £299,000, ahead of female presenter Mishal Husain (£200,000 to £249,000), who also presents TV news for the corporation, but their colleague Sarah Montague does not make the £150,000 pay bracket.

Lord Hall told Radio 4's Today programme that the BBC had reduced its spending on top talent by 25% in the past four years and 10% since last year, when 109 people took home a total of £31 million.

"I completely understand that to lots and lots of people these are very large sums, but we are a global broadcaster in a very competitive market and we have to be competitive - but not foolishly.

"No-one would want us to be paying sums where it's not at a discount on the market. People expect us to have great broadcasters, great presenters, great stars, but pay them less than they would get on the market. Getting that discount right is very important."

Lord Hall described the publication of top salaries, which was opposed by the BBC, as a "bad idea" because it could tempt other broadcasters with deep pockets to poach stars creating an inflationary effect on pay.

    Here's the list of the top earners in BBC:

  • 1. Chris Evans £2.2m - £2.25m
  • 2. Gary Lineker £1.75m - £1.8m
  • 3. Graham Norton £850,0000 - £899,999
  • 4. Jeremy Vine £700,000 - £749,999
  • 5. John Humphrys £600,000 - £649,999
  • 6. Huw Edwards £550,000 - £599,999
  • 7. Steve Wright £500,000 - £549,999
  • = 8. Claudia Winkleman £450,000 - £499,999
  • = 8. Matt Baker £450,000 - £499,999
  • = 9. Nicky Campbell £400,000 - £449,999
  • = 9. Stephen Nolan £400,000 - £449,999
  • = 9. Alan Shearer £400,000 - £449,999
  • =9. Alex Jones £400,000 - £449,000
  • 10. Fiona Bruce £350,000 - £399,999

The list reveals that newsreader and Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce earns between £350,000 and £399,000 but fellow news host Huw Edwards is on £550,000 to £599,999.

The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg is on £200,000 to £249,000, below news presenter George Alagiah (£250,000-£299,000) and Radio 4's PM host Eddie Mair (£300,000 - £349,000).

News host Sophie Raworth is on £150,000 to £199,000.

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty is in the £150,000 to £199,999 bracket, and her colleague on the show Dan Walker, who also works on Football Focus and fronted slots from the Rio Olympics, took home between £200,000 and £249,000.

Their fellow BBC Breakfast presenters Louise Minchin and Charlie Stayt do not make the £150,000 bracket.

In sport, Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker is paid in the £1,750,000 to £1,799,999 bracket. He had earlier revealed that he had turned down higher pay offers from commercial broadcasters.

Writing on Twitter, the former England striker said he had stuck with the Beeb "Because I love and value my job and BBC sport."

But Wimbledon's Sue Barker earns between £300,000 and £349,999, behind Alan Shearer (£400,000 and £449,999).

Clare Balding is paid between £150,000 to £199,999, putting her in the same list as Jonathan Agnew, Jonathan Davies and John McEnroe.

Presenters John Inverdale and Gabby Logan are on between £200,000 and £249,000.

Radio 2 Breakfast DJ and former Top Gear host Evans earns between £2.2 million and £2,249,999.

Graham Norton is listed as between £850,000 and £899,999 - but as the list only includes cash from licence fee payers, that does not include his chat show, for which the BBC pays an independent production company, which in turn pays his salary.

Strictly Come Dancing host and Radio 2 DJ Claudia Winkleman earns between £450,000 and £499,000.

Claudia Winkleman
Claudia Winkleman

Strictly judge Darcey Bussell earns between £150,000 and £199,999, putting her in the same band as Craig Revel Horwood.

But Bruno Toniolo, who also worked on Eurovision: You Decide, and former head judge Len Goodman earn more at £200,000 to £249,999.

Stars of Casualty and EastEnders dominate the highest earning list of actors.

Long-running Casualty star Derek Thompson, who plays Charlie Fairhead in the popular medical drama, earns between £350,000 and £399,000.

His co-star Amanda Mealing, who plays Connie Beauchamp in Casualty and Holby City, is on £250,000 to £299,999.

Adam Woodyatt, Albert Square's Ian Beale, is one of the top paying EastEnders actors at £200,000 to £249,000, along with newer recruit Danny Dyer (Mick Carter).

June Brown - EastEnders' Dot Cotton - is not on the list.

Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi was paid between £200,000 to £249,0000.

Top Gear's Matt LeBlanc is not on the list but it has not been disclosed whether he is paid £150,000 or more but from BBC Worldwide.

Names like Mary Berry are not on the list because she would have been paid by an independent production company, which the BBC paid.

The figures are for the money stars received from the licence fee from the financial year April 2016 to April 2017.

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