BBC top earners expected to show gender gap

How much does the Prime Minister earn

Graham Norton's pay, for example, is likely to be much higher, but because he probably pockets some of the production fee for "The Graham Norton Show" from his production company So Television, this is not captured in the BBC list.

The BBC will reveal the salaries of its highest-paid stars in an annual report which will be released at 11am today - the first time that this information has been made public.

The data appears to show a massive gulf between pay rates for male and female stars that's going to be extremely hard to put a positive spin on, no matter how many of them magically regenerate into women.

The highest earning female on the list is Claudia Winkleman - the co-presenter of Strictly Come Dancing (which raked in 13.1 million viewers last year) - who reportedly earned between £450,000 and £499,999 last year. It has already said that only one third of the people on the list are women.

Lawyers have warned that the BBC could be open to discrimination lawsuits brought by its female employees.

The figures have revealed notable disparities between what women and men are paid, and Director General Tony Hall conceded there was "more to do" on both gender and diversity.

Shadow culture secretary Tom Watson defended the pay packets of top BBC stars, arguing that "the BBC is one of the world's greatest broadcasters and we shouldn't be surprised that its top stars - who millions of people tune in to watch and listen to every week - are well paid". Just pay us less, that's what I would do, it's not rocket science'.

Lord Hall described the publication of top salaries, which was opposed by the BBC, as a "bad idea" because it could tempt other broadcasters with deep pockets to poach stars creating an inflationary effect on pay.

The actor, who plays Charlie Fairhead in the popular medical drama, earns between £350,000 and £399,000 while, Capaldi languishes between £200,000 to £249,000.

He added that in terms of his market value he had been offered a doubling of his salary by a rival radio broadcaster eight years ago but that he declined because he loved his job and the BBC which he said was "in his soul".

She said: "As a publicly-funded organisation, there is an onus on the BBC to be transparent about the levels of salaries it pays so we welcome this move".

Only one third of the list of talent earning over £150,000 are women, with the top names being men.

Their fellow BBC Breakfast presenters Louise Minchin and Charlie Stayt do not make the £150,000 bracket. "Of the top talent who are on the list [who] we have hired or promoted in the last three years, more than 60 per cent are women".

The disclosure has, however, blown open a damaging subplot for the BBC, exposing a huge gender pay gap. Also, the choice for some of our talent is to go and do something completely different because they're entertainers ... that is the market we're dealing with'.

Whilst I understand the need to be transparent with licence payers money, I don't think this is going to help the BBC.

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