BBC boss defends pay increases for broadcasters


BBC boss defends pay increases for broadcasters

The new boss of the BBC has defended an increase in salary for its stars, despite the corporation having to make cuts.Tim Davie said he expects stars to work at the BBC for lower pay than at competitors, but it is a “punchy” market.

Radio 2 Breakfast Show host Zoe Ball is now earning £1.36 million, with her pay bracket up by £990,000.

Last year’s figures put her on about £370,000, but she had only just replaced Chris Evans on the airwaves.

Fiona Bruce moves up the published pay figures by £195,000 to around £450,000, now she is hosting Question Time.

Graham Norton is on at least £725,000 – a rise of around £115,000.

The salary is for his Radio 2 show and TV work like fronting the Baftas – he fronted the film awards for the first time this year – but not his chat show.

Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis’ pay is on around £370,000 – with her pay bracket rising by around £110,000.

Radio 2 DJ Ken Bruce, new Desert Island Discs host and 6Music presenter Lauren Laverne and broadcasters Tina Daheley, Stephen Nolan, Scott Mills and Trevor Nelson have also seen their pay rise. Steve Wright is on about £475,000.

Davie defended Ball’s pay and said stars like her brought “value”.

“Zoe is absolutely a broadcaster at the top of her game. She’s delivering over eight million listeners,” he said.

And he added of the station as a whole: “I think we’re getting incredible value.”

Asked about the likes of Gary Lineker still earning more than £1 million, despite taking a 23% pay cut, he said he would expect “people to come to the BBC at a significant discount to what they’d get in the open market”.

But he added: “We will invest in very limited situations in particular markets to ensure we have got the best talent.”

“There will be some particular instances where we have exceptional talent where we make those investments,” he said.

Pay packets made through BBC Studios, the broadcaster’s commercial arm and responsible for the likes of Strictly Come Dancing, Antiques Roadshow and Doctor Who, are not disclosed.