Yesterday, the earnings of the BBC’s biggest stars were revealed for the first time in the corporation’s annual report.
The Radio 2 Breakfast Show presenter is the Beebs highest paid star, taking home £2.2million in the last year.
During a round-up of Thursday’s newspapers on his breakfast show, the 51-year-old addressed the backlash about his earnings.
He said: “There’s lots of news in the papers about lots of different things, but also there’s quite a bit to say the least about the BBC, as you can imagine.
“Here’s a question - what do you say when confronted with the question: are you embarrassed about what you earn? Are you ashamed of what you earn? How do you react to that question when all you’re doing is coming to work every day like you have been for years to fulfil an agreed contract?
“Frankly, I had no idea what to say. I’ve been asked that question and so have many of my colleagues over the last 24 hours. I was asked that again this morning by a film crew as I ran into work.”
He then revealed that he turned his mum, a former nurse, for advice on how to deal with the questions and negativity surrounding his BBC pay packet.
He said: “So here’s what I did. I called my mum. She’s 91, she’s very wise, she was in the war, and I asked her what she thought.
“She said: ‘Hang on a minute, love, let me just turn the telly down’, she was watching Columbo on catch-up at the time, as she often is.
“She said: ’Tell them that your mum, who’s a nurse for most of her life, always told you after your dad died to try to find a job you loved, just like I love nursing, and earn what you can, when you can, while you can - which you did almost straight away from when you were a paper boy earning £1.50 a week for freezing your bits off and falling off your bike every two minutes, right through until what you’re doing now.
″‘And tell them - if your bosses don’t think you’re worth it one day, they’ll sort that out soon enough’.”
Evans added: “So there you are - I’m going with what my mum said and that’s it. I don’t think you tune in to this show to hear us talk about these things, but I had to say that this morning and had to be right and proper that I said that.
“I thank my mum for advice, as always, I live by her word and I will die by her word.”
Other stars have also spoken out about their BBC earnings being made public.
‘Strictly’ presenter Claudia Winkleman, who is the Beeb’s highest paid female star, spoke out in support of the report.
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.”