Entertainment & Arts

BBC announces sweeping pay reviews after star salary row

Clockwise from top left: Chris Evans, Gary Lineker, Graham Norton, Huw Edwards, John Humphrys and Jeremy Vine
Image caption The BBC's top earners. Top: Chris Evans, Gary Lineker, Graham Norton. Bottom: Jeremy Vine, John Humphrys and Huw Edwards

The BBC has outlined three wide-ranging reviews into equal pay following a furore over its star salaries this summer.

Director general Tony Hall has commissioned a report on the gender pay gap among staff and a separate audit covering other aspects of equal pay.

There will also be a review of pay and diversity among on-air stars.

In response, female BBC presenters have demanded "real change" before the end of the year.

In July, the BBC was criticised after it was revealed that its best-paid presenters were mainly white and male.

On Wednesday, figures including sport presenter Clare Balding, Woman's Hour's Jane Garvey and Today programme host Mishal Husain distributed a #BBCWomen statement on Twitter.

It said: "The director general must be in no doubt about how serious an issue equal and fair pay is for women across the organisation.

"We await the swift release of meaningful data that we can trust and for solutions that will rectify injustices to be put in place before the end of the year."

They called for "full transparency", concluding: "We will be monitoring developments to ensure real change happens, and quickly".

When the star salaries were published in July, it was revealed that 35% of those earning more than £150,000 a year were women.

Chris Evans was top of the list on £2.2m, followed by six more men. Strictly Come Dancing's Claudia Winkleman was the best-paid female presenter - joint eighth overall - earning between £450,000 and £500,000.

Image caption Claudia Winkleman is the highest-paid woman on the BBC star salary list

Speaking to staff on Wednesday, Lord Hall said the BBC report on gender pay would cover the whole corporation and be independently audited, adding that he is "determined to close the gap".

The separate equal pay audit will be carried out by law firm Eversheds and accountants PwC, and will examine UK-based staff.

He said it would "make sure that, where there are differences in pay, they're justified", adding: "If it throws up issues, we'll deal with them immediately."

The review of on-air talent will focus on presenters, editors and correspondents in BBC News and radio, he said.

"Of course, we'll be looking at pay - but also representation," he said. "As I hope you know, we've set really ambitious targets - not just on gender, but on diversity more broadly.

"You'll see changes over the coming months."

Lord Hall added that those reviews were "just the start".

He said: "There are more things on the table - from the way we recruit, to the way we promote, to the way you can raise questions."


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