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BBC Salaries: Chris Evans Speaks Out As He's Revealed To Be BBC's Highest Paid Star

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19/07/2017 10:55 BST | Updated 19/07/2017 12:27 BST

The salaries of the BBC’s biggest stars have been revealed in the corporation’s annual report, with Chris Evans topping the pay scale, with the Radio 2 Breakfast Show host earning at least £2.2m a year.

When asked if it’s fair that he earns twenty times more than Theresa May’s £140,000 wage, he joked: “Well, I am paid more than the Prime Minister.”

He added: “I think the most important thing is that we’re the ultimate public company and therefore I think that, on balance, it’s probably right and proper that people know what we get paid.”

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Chris Evans

The report reveals the pay of anyone working for the Beeb who earns more than £150,000 a year - the first time this information has been made public as a result of a change made to the BBC’s Royal Charter.

‘Match Of The Day’ and BBC Sport presenter Gary Lineker is the Beeb’s second biggest earner, with a salary of £1.75m a year.

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Gary Lineker

Other top earning presenters at the BBC include Graham Norton (£850-£900K), Jeremy Vine (£700-£749K) and Radio 2 presenter Steve Wright (£500-£549K).

The BBC’s top earning actors include Derek Thompson who plays Charlie in ‘Casualty’ (£350-£399K), ‘Holby City’ actress Amanda Mealing (£250-£299K), and ‘EastEnders’ star Adam Woodyatt (£200-£249K).

The report also highlights the differences in pay between presenters on the same shows, including The One Show’s Matt Baker (£450-499K) and Alex Jones (£400-£449K), and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ hosts Claudia Winkleman (£450-499K) and Tess Daly (£350-£399K).

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'The One Show' presenter Matt Baker earns more than his co-host Alex Jones.

Some of the BBC’s biggest stars spoke out ahead of the publication of the report.

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?”

The former footballer also admitted that he has turned down a bigger salary from a privately-owned broadcaster in the past, “because I love and value my job and BBC Sport.”

Ross Kemp, who was one of the organisation’s most high-profile stars during his time playing Grant Mitchell on ‘EastEnders’, suggested viewers should question why the Beeb is being forced to share the information.

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Ross Kemp

Speaking on Wednesday’s ‘Good Morning Britain’, he said: “I think some people will be unhappy [when the report is published] – and that’s understandable. But you have to think about the agenda behind this.

“Is it a government agenda to rock the BBC’s ship?”

However, ‘Strictly’ presenter Claudia Winkleman spoke out in support of the report.

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Claudia Winkleman

Speaking ahead of its publication, she said: “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.”

Here are the top earners in descending order... 

Multi-genre 

£2,200,000 - £2,249,999

Chris Evans, presenter

£850,000 - £899,999

Graham Norton, presenter 

£700,000 - £749,999

Jeremy Vine, presenter 

£600,000 - £649,999 

John Humphrys, presenter 

£550,000 - £599,999 

Huw Edwards, presenter 

£450,000 - £499,999 

Matt Baker, commentator and presenter 

Claudia Winkleman, presenter 

£400,000 - £449,999 

Andrew Marr, presenter 

Stephen Nolan, presenter 

£350,000 - £399,999 

Fiona Bruce, presenter 

£250,000 - £299,999 

Zoe Ball, presenter 

Brian Cox, presenter 

Evan Davis, presenter 

£200,000 - £249,999

Mark Chapman, presenter 

Jools Holland, presenter 

Dan Walker, presenter 

£150,000 - £199,999 

Naga Munchetty, presenter and contributor 

Sport 

£1,750,000 - £1,799,999

Gary Lineker, presenter

£400,000 - £449,999

Alan Shearer, presenter

£300,000 - £349,999

Sue Barker, presenter

£250,000 - £299,999

Jason Mohammad, presenter 

£200,000 - £249,999 

John Inverdale, presenter 

Gabby Logan, presenter  

£150,000 - £199,999 

Jonathan Agnew, presenter and commentator 

Clare Balding, presenter 

Jonathan Davies, contributor 

John McEnroe, presenter and commentator 

Radio 

£500,000 - £549,999 

Steve Wright, presenter 

£400,000 - £449,999 

Nicky Campbell, presenter 

£350,000 - £399,999 

Nick Grimshaw, presenter

Vanessa Feltz, presenter 

Nicholas Grimshaw, presenter 

Simon Mayo, presenter 

£300,000 - £349,999 

Lauren Laverne, presenter 

£250,000 - £299,999 

Ken Bruce, presenter 

Scott Mills, presenter 

Trevor Nelson, presenter 

£200,000 - £249,999

Mark Radcliffe, presenter 

£150,000 - £199,999 

Adrian Chiles, presenter 

Greg James, presenter 

Shaun Keaveny, presenter 

Moira Stuart, presenter 

Jo Whiley, presenter 

TV Non-Scripted (Factual and Entertainment)

£400,000-£449,99

Alex Jones, presenter

£350,000-£399,999

Tess Daly, presenter

£300,000-£349,999

Nick Knowles, presenter

£200,000-£249,999

Gary Barlow, contributor

Len Goodman, contributor

Danni Minogue, contributor

Bruno Tonioli, contributor
Alan Yentob, presenter

£150,000 - £199,999

Darcey Bussell, contributor

Mel Giedroyc, presenter

Craig Horwood, contributor

Paul Martin, presenter

Simon Schama, presenter

TV Scripted (Drama and Comedy)

£350,000-£399,999

Derek Thompson, actor

£250,000-£299,999

Amanda Mealing, actor

£200,000-£249,999

Peter Capaldi, actor

Danny Dyer, actor

Emilia Fox, actor

David Jason, actor

Rosie Marcel, actor

Adam Woodyatt, actor

£150,000-£199,999

Laurie Brett, actor

Letitia Dean, actor

Tameka Empson, actor and contributor

Guy Henry, actor

Linda Henry, actor

Scott Maslen, actor

Diane Parish, actor

Hugh Quarshie, actor

Jemma Redgrave, actor

Tim Roth, actor

Catherine Shipton, actor

Gillian Taylforth, actor

Lacey Turner, actor

News and Current Affairs

£300,000-£349,999

Eddie Mair, presenter

£250,000-£299,999

George Alagiah, presenter

Nicholas Robinson, presenter

£200,000-£249,999

Victoria Derbyshire, presenter

Mishal Husain, presenter

Martha Kearney, presenter

Laura Kuenssberg, correspondent

Andrew Neil, presenter

Jonathan Sopel, correspondent

£150,000 - £199,999

Kamal Ahmed, correspondent

Jeremy Bowen, correspondent

Ben Brown, presenter

Mark Easton, correspondent

Gavin Esler, presenter

James Naughtie, correspondent and presenter

John Pienaar, correspondent

Sophie Raworth, presenter

John Simpson, correspondent

Kirsty Work, presenter

Justin Webb, presenter