The Government has demanded that the BBC disclose the names and salaries of everyone earning more than £150,000 as part of its new royal charter.
The findings have resulted in concerns over the gender pay gap and a lack of diversity amongst the channel’s highest earners; the seven presenters earning over £500,000 a year are all men and there are only ten people of colour on the overall list of 96.
BBC Director General Tony Hall recognises the discrepancy but has pledged to make improvements. He said: ‘At the moment, of the talent earning over £150,000, two-thirds are men and one-third are women. We’ve set a clear target for 2020: we want all our lead and presenting roles to be equally divided between men and women. And it’s already having a huge impact. If you look at those on the list who we have hired or promoted in the last three years, 60% are women and nearly a fifth come from a BAME background.’
It is worth noting however that the list itself is not comprehensive, it only includes the salaries directly paid from the licence fee. This means the disclosure does not include payments to staff from independent production companies and BBC worldwide. It means that some high-profile stars have not been included on the list and that some payments are not recorded. To put this into context, despite topping the list, Chris Evans’ reported salary may be higher as Top Gear is part-funded by BBC worldwide and there is no mention of stars such as Sir David Attenborough and Matt LeBlanc.