Toksvig, who also hosts The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, told Radio Times when she first took over presenting QI that it would be “absurd” if she did not earn the same as previous presenter Fry.
However, during the conference on Saturday she revealed that she had recently discovered she earns less than Fry and the same amount as regular panellist Alan Davies.
“I have recently discovered I get 40 per cent of what Stephen used to get,” she said. “And I get the same pay as Alan Davies, who is not the host.
“I temper this with the fact that I love the show and I’m the first woman to host such a show.”
She later added, “I love QI and the brilliant team who produce it. [Producer] John Lloyd and the team champion women on the show.”
However, Toksvig said that she wanted to be open about the salary difference in order to combat “the lack of transparency around pay.”
“Until now I had held back from talking about this because this is not about me,” she said. “However, the lack of transparency around pay is a big part of the problem and I hope that being open, I can support women whose work is undervalued.”
QI is made by independent production company Fremantle Media for the BBC. The company has not commented on the pay difference.
Presenter Richard Bacon defended the pay difference, saying that it had “nothing to do with gender”.
Yes. Because he’s Stephen Fry. Some talent costs more than others. And sometimes, it’s got nothing to do with gender. https://t.co/3gUzntzDnf