Reality Check: The gender pay gap

Jeremy Vine on BBC Salaries

The BBC said that its overall talent bill has been reduced by more than £4m over the last financial year, to £194m.

The corporation's annual report published today showed the company's highest earners, revealing a considerable gender gap between the 96 stars who are earning over £150,000 per annum.

Stars such as Gary Lineker, Chris Evans, Andrew Marr and Graham Norton are all set to feature prominently, as well as female presenters such as Claudia Winkelman and Fiona Bruce.

The pay disparity extends to its journalism side as well - the male anchor of the nightly news earned 200,000 pounds more than his female counterpart.

Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer both feature among the BBC's highest-earners.

Across the United Kingdom men earned 18.1% more than women in April 2016 according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Lawyers have warned that the BBC could be open to discrimination lawsuits brought by its female employees. They suggest that as long as we have a BAME person on the TV screen, giving the appearance of diversity, then it is absolutely OK.

The state broadcaster "fought tooth and nail" to resist revealing the sums that licence fee payers are forking out to television personalities, a ministerial source told the Daily Mail.

Are we pushing further and faster than any other major broadcaster?

John Humphrys, who presents Today and Mastermind, collected up to £649,999, and Dan Walker, who presented Breakfast, Football Focus and Olympic coverage in 2016, was paid £200,000 to £249,999.

The Radio 2 DJ and former Top Gear presenter earned £2.2m previous year, more than double Graham Norton, who picked up £850,000 to £900,000. According to Variety, the 10 highest-earning film actors in 2015 made approximately $431 million combined, compared to the 10 highest-paid actresses' $218 million.

Unsurprisingly, most of the BBC's highest earners are middle-aged; more than two-thirds of the BBC top earners are between 40 and 59 years old.

Seven other men on the list are older than Stuart - and five of them are more than 70 years old.

It will make it enormously hard for them to remain competitive and could mean they cannot retain talent.

Hall said the BBC hopes to split all leading presenting and acting roles equally between men and women by 2020.

"If you look at those on the list who we have hired or promoted in the last three years, 60% are women and almost a fifth come from a BAME background".

'Meeting our goal on this is going to have a profound impact not just on the BBC, but the whole media industry. "Talent salaries and wages will round upwards, they won't go down".

"I think it is right that people get to see the figures".

Sir Craig Oliver, David Cameron's former director of communications and ex-BBC News executive, said the Corporation could be facing an inherent sexism issue if figures reveal gender pay differences.

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