BBC gender pay gap closes as John Humphrys, Huw Edwards and Nicky Campbell take salary cut

Data indicates attempts to close the gender pay gap – but many big name stars are missing because of changes to the way the figures are released

Huw Edwards in N9 news studio for the Ten O'Clock news

Leading male BBC broadcasters have taken pay cuts in order to close the gender pay gap, the BBC’s annual report shows.

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According to the data, released on Wednesday 11th July, the gap between the number of men and the number of women earning more than £150,000 per year has narrowed since the report last year opened up a huge row about the gender pay gap at the Corporation.

However, the top 12 earners on the BBC’s list are all men.

Last year the ratio of male to female earners on £150,000 or more was 76:24 in favour of men. Data for the financial year to April 2018 shows that ratio is now 66:34 in favour of men.

Projected figures for next year’s report – when the pay cuts taken by men are fully realised in the accounts – predict that the gender pay gap will close further with a projected ratio of 59:41.

This is due to the pay cuts taken by leading male presenters including Today presenter John Humphrys, whose published pay last year of between £600,000 and £649,000 put him under the microscope. His female colleagues at Radio 4’s Today programme earned less than half that.

This year Humphrys’ pay has been reported as being between £400,000 and £409,000, with the report narrowing the salary band to the nearest £10,000. According to the BBC, next year’s report will show that his salary has fallen below £300,000.

A similar cut applies to 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell, who was shown to earn between £400,000 and £449,000 in last year’s report. Now that pay has fallen to between £410,000 and £419,000. His projected cut next year will see him earning less than £350,000, according to the BBC.

BBC News presenter Huw Edwards’ reported pay last year was between £550,000 and £599,000. This too has now fallen to between £520,000 and £529,000. Next year it will have fallen below £500,000 according to the Corporation.

There has also been an increase in salaries for some leading female presenters and journalists, who were noticeable by their absence in last year’s report.

Emily Maitlis, who did not figure in last year’s list of people earning more than £150,000, earned between £220,000 and £229,999 in the last financial year, for what the report notes is 100 days of work.

Former Today presenter Sarah Montague, who also did not figure in last year’s list of stars earning more than £150,000, is shown to earn between £160,000 and £169,000. The report notes that she has presented around 140 editions of Today in the financial year, although she has since moved to present Radio 4’s World at One.

It is not clear if Today programme and BBC News presenter Mishal Hussain’s pay has increased or decreased. Last year her salary was shown to be between £200,000 and £249,000. This year, where the bands have been narrowed to the nearest £10,000, her salary is quoted as being between £220,000 and £229,000.

Today presenter Nick Robinson’s earnings of between £250,000 and £259,000 suggests his pay has been largely unaffected by the row. Last year his pay was between £250,000 and £299,000.

The overall salary figures are believed not to give the full picture of the BBC’s top talent earners, because the salaries do not include the pay earned by talent working for independent producers or BBC Studios, which is run by the BBC’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide.

For example, Casualty actor Derek Thompson does not appear in the new list. The star, who plays Charlie Fairhead in the drama, was on a salary of between £350,000 and £399,999 according to last year’s report.

Claudia Winkleman is the highest earning woman according to the BBC report, with a salary of between £370,000 and £379,999 for her BBC Radio 2 show and a range of BBC TV programmes.

However, her pay for presenting Strictly Come Dancing is not thought to be included in the above figure, as the BBC1 entertainment show is produced by BBC Studios. Last year Winkleman’s salary was quoted as being between £450,000 and £499,000.

Gary Lineker is the highest paid BBC star on the list, earning between £1.75m and £1.76m.  His pay has been unchanged since last year, but he overtakes Radio 2’s Chris Evans.

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The Radio 2 and former Top Gear presenter’s salary has gone down from between £2.2m and £2.25m to a salary between £1.66m and £1.67m.