The BBC has revealed how much its top stars are paid each year, with BBC Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans topping the list.
Evans, who presents the network’s breakfast show, was paid between £2.2 million and £2.25 million in 2016/2017, while Claudia Winkleman, the BBC’s highest-paid female celebrity, earned between £400,000 and £450,000.
The BBC has been forced to reveal how much it pays its stars under its new Royal Charter. It does not have to state exactly how much each one earns – instead publishing pay bands. It does not include stars who receive their pay through BBC Worldwide, the corporation’s commercial arm.
The figures quoted only refer to the amount of licence fee money each person receives and do not include their earnings from other broadcasters or commercial activities.
The corporation’s second highest paid star is football presenter Gary Lineker, who earned between £1.75 million and £1.8 million in 2016/17.
Director general Tony Hall said there was “more to do” on gender and diversity.
The figures reveal a disparity between what white stars and those from a BAME background are paid.
George Alagiah, Jason Mohammad and Trevor Nelson are the highest paid BAME stars, each receiving between £250,000 and £300,000.
The highest-paid female star with a BAME background is BBC news presenter Mishal Hussain, who received between £200,000 and £250,000.
Hall said, “Of the 43,000 talent contracts with the BBC last year, less than a quarter of one per cent were paid more than £150,000.
“The BBC produces some of the nation’s most loved television and radio and the most trusted news, while operating in a competitive market with the likes of Sky, ITV, Netflix and Amazon. It is widely acknowledged that on the whole the BBC pays less than its competitors while delivering high-quality and award-winning content.
“We have significantly reduced the total bill spent on paying talent, down again this year by 2.5 per cent. The bill for top talent is down ten per cent year on year, and down by a quarter over the last five years. The amount we pay the very highest earners has dropped by 40 per cent across the same period. At the same time, there has been significant cost inflation across the industry, so that BBC has made savings in an environment where costs are significantly up.”
The annual report also revealed that the BBC continues to reach 95 per cent of UK adults each week.
The BBC’s weekly global audience has increased to 372 million people, BBC iPlayer had its biggest ever year with an average 246 million monthly requests and BBC Children’s apps were downloaded 12 million times.
During the year, the BBC surpassed its target for £700m of savings and reduced its overheads to five per cent of controllable spend, while reducing senior manager numbers again – now down by almost half in eight years.