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06th Jul 2021

Gary Lineker still BBC’s top earner despite huge pay cut

Danny Jones

Gary Lineker remains BBCs top earner after paycut

Gary is still making a fair wedge even after his pay cut

According to the BBC’s annual report, Gary Lineker remains the BBC’s top earner even despite agreeing to a pay cut of just under £400,000 last year. Still, between his wages and that Walkers wonga, Gaz isn’t doing too bad.

Today’s report showed that the legendary ex-player and pundit earned £1.36m in the 2020/21 financial year, down from £1.75m in 19/20. BBC Radio 2’s Zoe Ball, who also took a pay cut after offering to do so, is still the second-highest paid star on £1.13m.

They published a full list of all their TV personalities pay packets this year, with the likes of Graham Norton, Steve Wright, Huw Edwards and Fiona Bruce behind them on anywhere between £725,000 to £450,000.

The wage bill for all on-air talent overall has been cut by 10% to £130m – down from £144m last year – with wages for broadcasters earning more than £150,000 also being reduced by £2.2m.

The BBC’s director-general, Tim Davie, said that the majority of the renegotiations about pay with top stars had been “mutual and constructive”, adding that “we want to get more value and we’re willing to make tough decisions to that extent.” Regarding the pay cuts, he stated: “I think everyone is absolutely with the program on that one.”

Many have noted that all of the top 10 earners are white, with 20% of all presenters earning over £150,000 hailing from ethnic minority backgrounds. While this is an increase of up from 18% last year, the overall staff pay gap for minorities has widened slightly.

It is also worth noting that the pandemic has played its part in annual savings, given the fact that certain events such as Wimbledon were cancelled last year.

As the likes of Sue Barker and John McEnroe didn’t cover the event, they were not included int the report; nor was Claudia Winkelman, who also disappears from the top-earners list in the absence of Strictly Come Dancing, though she has replaced Norton’s Saturday morning slot on Radio 2.

Whether Lineker’s uptake at the BBC will increase remains to be seen, as not long ago he announced he would be leaving his other key role as a BT Sport pundit to watch his Leicester tour around Europe with his son.