UK

Piers Morgan Breaks BBC Pay Embargo, Branded A 'Bellend'

'What a cheapshot.'

19/07/2017 11:33 BST | Updated 19/07/2017 13:32 BST

Piers Morgan has been branded a “bellend” after tweeting the pay of the BBC’s highest-paid stars before a pre-arranged embargo.

The list of 109 names of those earning above £150,000 was given to journalists earlier this morning with the understanding it would not be published until 11am.

Morgan ignored the embargo and began tweeting the list at 10:08 am.

The move drew criticism from journalists and editors, many of whom had reporters stationed at the BBC ready to break the news at the allotted time.

Compounding frustrations, Morgan responded by claiming he had simply “scooped” other journalists despite everyone being supplied with the same list and the same embargo rules.

The move to publish salaries above £150,000 a year paid for by the licence fee has exposed a huge disparity in the pay between the corporation’s top male and female talent.

The new figures show the top four male presenters across the BBC were collectively paid almost four times the total amount of the top four female presenters.

Shortly after publishing this article, Morgan retweeted it with the following...

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The highest paid male BBC star was Chris Evans, who took home pay of at least £2.24m last year.

He was joined by Gary Lineker (at least £1.75m), Graham Norton (£850,000), and Jeremy Vine (£700,000).

Meanwhile, the top female earners were ‘Strictly’ host Claudia Winkleman (at most £499,999), the ‘One Show’s’ Alex Jones (at most £449,999), Fiona Bruce and Tess Daly (both at most £399,999).