BBC stars’ pay to be revealed in annual report – BBC News

The pay received by the BBC’s biggest stars will be revealed in the corporation’s annual report when it is published later.

It is the first time this information will be made public.

The review will be published at 11:00 BST and details of anyone earning more than 150,000 a year will be included.

Only one third of the names on the list are women. BBC director general Lord Hall said it highlighted a need to “go further and faster” on gender issues.

However, he stressed the corporation was “pushing faster than any other major broadcaster”.

Lord Hall said he wanted equality on screen and radio by 2020, and over the last three years 63% new people and those promoted on TV and radio were women.

“Is this progress enough? It’s absolutely not,” he said.

He added that the BBC has reduced the amount paid to its top earners.

“I completely understand that to lots and lots of people these are very large sums but we are a broadcaster, a global broadcaster, in a very competitive market,” he later told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“And we have to be competitive but not foolishly.

“No-one would want us to be paying sums where it’s not at a discount to the market. People expect us to have great broadcasters, great presenters, great stars but pay them less than they would get in the market.”

The BBC’s annual report looks back over the previous year’s performance and publishes details about the corporation’s finances and spending.

It will also look at TV and radio viewing figures, and online engagement. It may also examine the BBC’s competition, such as Netflix.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said publishing the salaries of stars earning more than 150,000 would bring the BBC “in line with the civil service” on transparency.

She told the Commons last September that it would help ensure the BBC “produces value for money for the licence fee” and that more transparency could lead to savings that could be “invested in even more great programmes”.

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Media captionTony Hall, BBC director general, says publishing stars’ pay details will be ‘inflationary’

But Lord Hall has said: “Our position on talent pay has not changed and all major broadcasters have questioned the merit of the proposal.

“The BBC operates in a competitive market and this will not make it easier for the BBC to retain the talent the public love.”

ITV’s programmes chief Kevin Lygo also called the proposal a “mean-spirited, nosey way of looking at things” during last year’s Edinburgh Television Festival.

The corporation already publishes data on how much it spends on talent including information about how many people earn above 1m, and between 500,000 and 750,000 without naming them.

Who might be among the talent listed?

Presenters such as Graham Norton, Claudia Winkleman, Gary Lineker and Chris Evans are expected to be there.

Leading journalists Fiona Bruce, Andrew Marr, John Humphrys and political editor Laura Kuenssberg are also expected to be included.

The revelations are required under the BBC’s new Royal Charter, and are expected to encompass 96 of its top stars.

Their pay will be broken down in salary bands of 50,000.

The sums will only include pay for work carried out directly for the BBC, not other production companies.

For example, Norton’s will cover pay for his Radio 2 radio show and Eurovision, but not his chatshow which is produced by independent production company, So Television.

According to last year’s annual report, 109 TV and radio presenters earned more than 150,000 in the financial year 2015-16. But they were not named at the time.

Have the stars spoken out about the move?

Some have.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted: “Happy BBC salary day. I blame my agent and the other TV channels that pay more. Now where did I put my tin helmet?”

In a Twitter exchange, he admitted that he has turned down a bigger salary from a privately-owned broadcaster in the past.

Asked why? He replied: “Because I love and value my job and BBC Sport.”

Speaking at the China Exchange last month, Andrew Marr said of the plans to formally spell out pay: “It’s uncomfortable for all of us.

“I’m well paid but I’m much less overpaid, perhaps, than people working for rival organisations who won’t go through this process,” reported the Telegraph.

But Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman said ahead of Karen Bradley’s announcement last year: “I’m all for it. I totally understand it. We’re working for the public, so why shouldn’t they know?

“It’s good to see some women on the list too.

“We get paid an awful lot of money and it’s a marketplace. It’s bonkers.”

She added: “I love working for the BBC. I know that commercial stations pay a whole lot more – double, three times, four times. But I totally understand why people would want to know.”

What else might come out of the report?

We should also find out how the BBC’s television and radio channels and stations have performed over the last year.

And it’s also a chance to discover more about the BBC’s audiences – who is tuning in to TV, radio and the websites, for instance. (The BBC is struggling to attract younger audiences, as it faces competition from YouTube, social media and gaming).

Trust issues in news and the rise of competition from the likes of Netflix (which released impressive growth numbers this week) and Amazon Prime could also feature.

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