BBC bosses admit that 76 presenters earn more than the Prime Minister

Bill for BBC stars’ pay soars by £1m: Corporation faces call for curbs as bosses admit that 76 presenters including Gary Lineker and Lauren Laverne earn more than the Prime Minister

  • Annual report reveals 76 BBC presenters earn more than PM’s wage of £150,000
  • Biggest earners include DJ Lauren Laverne and sports broadcaster Gary Lineker
  • It also revealed BBC had given pay rises to more than 700 female employees

The BBC will face a backlash from pensioners as it emerges the pay bill for its stars rose by more than £1million last year.

The corporation’s annual report, which is published tomorrow, will show that 76 presenters earn more than the Prime Minister’s wage of £150,000 a year.

The total cost of ‘on-air talent’ rose from £143.6million in 2018/19 to £144.7million last year.

It came as it emerged that the BBC had given pay rises to more than 700 female employees since the start of its equal pay scandal. 

Annual report reveals 76 BBC presenters earn more than PM’s wage of £150,000 a year. Desert Island Discs presenter Lauren Laverne (pictured) is set to be announced as one of the BBC’s ten best-paid presenters

A Freedom of Information request revealed that at least 84 women were given pay increases through formal processes between July 2017 and March 2020.

During the same period, 608 women received a pay revision or increase through an informal pay enquiry, the Guardian reported.

The pay revelations are set to reignite fury over the BBC’s decision to strip almost 4million over-75s of their free TV licences.

The BBC has insisted it cannot afford the concession for all pensioners and says only around 900,000 who receive Pension Credit would continue to get it.

Last night pensioners’ groups demanded the corporation slash star pay if they are to expect over-75s to pay for their licences.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker – who earned £1.75million in 2018/19 – is set to retain his crown as the BBC’s most highly-paid star

Dennis Reed, of pensioners’ campaign group Silver Voices, said: ‘This increase shows a warped sense of priorities by the BBC in a time of difficulty. I would like to see them giving equal priority to poorer pensioners who struggle to pay their licence fee.’

The report shows there are now two stars raking in more than £1million, another earns between £500,000 and £1million, and 73 are on between £150,000 and £500,000.

And it says spend on on-air roles represents 10 per cent of total internal creative content – the same as the year before.

Tim Davie, the BBC’s new director-general, has vowed to slash the number of people employed by the corporation. 

Tim Davie (pictured) the BBC’s new director-general, has vowed to slash the number of people employed by the corporation

But the report is believed to show the total number has barely changed. It also reveals virtually the same number of senior managers as there were in the previous year. 

Mr Davie is set to expand on his previous comments about tackling staffing levels in a speech today. 

A source said: ‘[Mr Davie] will warn that public service BBC staffing levels must come down in the future.’

The ‘on-air talent’ bill covers those who appear on screen and on the radio. 

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker – who earned £1.75million in 2018/19 – is set to retain his crown as the BBC’s most highly-paid star.

And Desert Island Discs presenter Lauren Laverne is also set to be announced as one of the BBC’s ten best- paid presenters, having earned £305,000 in 2018/19.

The corporation yesterday declined to comment.

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