How much does Doctor Who get paid?

The BBC has revealed what Peter Capaldi earns for playing the Time Lord - but there could be more to it than that...

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On one hand, the Doctor probably doesn’t worry much about money – after all, he has a time machine so if he does have any cash flow problems all he has to do is go back a few hundred years, put a penny in the bank and then head back to the present to pick up the interest.

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On the other hand, Peter Capaldi, the actor who currently plays the Doctor, has bills to pay and of course receives a salary from the BBC. 

So how much do you get for playing a Doctor?

The answer is: a fair whack – but not as much as you get for playing a nurse…

In the last financial year, Peter Capaldi was paid somewhere in the region of £200,000-£249,999 by the BBC. We know this because the Corporation has just been obliged to reveal, in £50K increments, the salaries of all its stars who earned above £150,000.

And we also know that Derek Thompson, the actor who has played nurse Charlie Fairhead in medical drama Casualty since 1986, picks up even more – between £350,000 and £399,999 – making him the highest paid actor at the BBC. 

Meanwhile, both Thompson and Capaldi’s salaries are dwarfed by those of the best off news presenters, particularly top earners John Humphrys on £600,000-£649,999 and Huw Edwards, in the £550,000-£599,999 bracket.

But in case you were feeling sorry for Capaldi (for ‘only’ earning £200+K? Probably not) it may not be quite as a simple as that.

You see, there’s a good chance that he also gets a slice of Doctor Who‘s commercial earnings, under the auspices of BBC Worldwide, which makes money from selling programmes globally and from merchandising – and doesn’t have to declare its salary payouts.

So just like the stars of other BBC shows like Top Gear, it’s possible Capaldi’s pay packet is bolstered by a share of commercial income from Doctor Who which, given the show’s global success, could make a big difference. 

Of course, something else that’s become clear following the publication of all these salaries is that there is a significance gender pay gap at the BBC – two thirds of its on-screen stars who earn more than £150,000 a year are male, while there is a distinct disparity between what men and women are paid in similar roles.

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Happily, the BBC have confirmed that won’t extend to Doctor Who and that when Jodie Whittaker takes over as the Thirteenth Doctor this Christmas, she will be paid the same as Peter Capaldi.