BBC Releases Details of Presenter’s Pay

When it was declared that Jonathan Ross would not return to the BBC when his contract ended, details of his salary were leaked to the press and many were outraged that television presenters were earning so much more than doctors, teachers and fire fighters. Salaries are usually a private matter, and most would not wish to disclose their own; however Ross had a 3 year deal for £16.9 million, making him the highest paid person at the BBC.

Everyone who has a television is required to pay for an annual licence fee, and in light of the information leaked the nation wanted to know where their money was going. The BBC have refused to inform the public of specific details, but a figure has been released of how much their top stars were paid for the last year at the BBC – collectively a whopping £54 million. This may sound like a huge sum, but it actually only makes up 1.55% of the income received from television licences per year, totalling at £3.49 billion.

The figures released have been broken into four salary bands; this is the first time that the BBC has released information about payment to presenters, musicians, actors. The revelations came following pressure on the broadcaster from various politicians and from rival media companies. Along with Jonathan Ross, other stars thought to be amongst the highest earners at the BBC include Graham Norton, Fiona Bruce, Sir Terry Wogan and Chris Moyles. The artists are involved either in television, radio or online services.

The BBC refused to comment on how many people were in the highest earning bracket of over £150,000 per year, but it has been suggested that about 40 have earned more than £1 million. The BBC’s total talent costs for the year ending in March 2009 was £229 million.

Following in the footsteps of the government to appear more transparent, the broadcasting corporation also decided to release a list of expenses from their most senior executives, as well as publishing a list of all hospitality and gift costs.

It does seem like an excessive amount of money to those who earn more modest amounts such as London escorts, but it would seem that this is the price for good entertainment. The BBC pride themselves in finding the country’s best talent and nurturing it to give us the best results.