Chris Evans tops BBC's highest-earners list

Chris Evans tops BBC's highest-earners list

After considerable pressure from the Government to increase the transparency on pay, the BBC has released its annual report revealing how much its stars are actually paid.

Highest paid was Chris Evans, the presenter of Britain's most popular breakfast radio show who also hosted motoring programme "Top Gear" for one series, receiving up to 2.25 million pounds ($2.9 million) in 2016/17.

Match of The Day presenter Gary Lineker has feigned outrage at the revelation that Chris Evans is paid more than him by the BBC.

The list includes Radio 2 and Radio One 1Xtra DJ Trevor Nelson (up to £299,000), the deputy political editor for BBC News John Pienaar (up to £199,000) and EastEnders actress Tameka Empson (up to £199,000).

Lawyers have warned that the BBC could be open to discrimination lawsuits brought by its female employees.

He said that the BBC needs to "go further and faster on issues of gender and diversity", but insisted that the broadcaster is doing better than many of its peers in the media industry.

It is the first time the pay details of stars earning more than £150,000 have been made public after the broadcaster was compelled to release the information under the terms of the new Royal Charter.

"We have to manage, as we do, within our means", Hall says, to which Husain asks if that means men will take a pay cut.

Commenting on the list, UKIP media spokesman Patrick O'Flynn said salaries at the top end "seem ridiculous, particularly when you bear in mind the extra spin-off earnings that come with being a major BBC presenter".

The highest-paid female star with a BAME background is BBC news presenter Mishal Hussain, who received between £200,000 and £250,000.

Similarly Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson said she hoped the publication of salaries would "galvanise" the BBC to close the gender pay gap.

Ahead of the big reveal, the beeb identified a gender pay-gap as two thirds of the top earning presenters are male.

The salaries were revealed by the BBC after being put under pressure as they are paid by the licence fee revenue.

Claudia Winkleman is the highest paid woman on BBC earning at most £499,000 whilst Tess Daly earns at most £399,999.

"We've already set a clear and strong target for what we want to achieve by 2020 - we want all our lead and presenting roles to be equally divided by men and women".

"The BBC is hugely proud of our content and shows - and of those who make and appear on them".

As the BBC prepare to publish the salaries of its top contributors, Director-General, Tony Hall, has warned that comparing pay "is not straightforward". "It's going to change the market for talent in this country", he added.

"I think this was a deliberate campaign to undermine and destabilise an institution that some self-interested parties would like to see weakened", he said, pointing to some politicians and executives at the BBC's privately owned rivals.

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