The two were quizzed by guest Anne Robinson, who was there to promote her upcoming documentary called ‘The Trouble With Women’.
When conversation turned to the pay gap between them, Anne addressed the presenting duo, asking: “I bet you don’t know what he earns, and you don’t know what she earns.”
Matt then pointed out that their earnings were “in the newspapers”, to which Alex added: “We do [know each other’s salary], yeah.”
Stoking the fire, a curious Anne continued: “Really? And does she earn more than you? And do you earn more than her?”
Of course, as anyone who followed the news last year when the BBC’s highest-earning stars’ salaries were published for the first time, Matt does indeed earn more than his co-presenter, with the gap between them potentially being as much as £100,000.
He then pointed out to Anne that he “does three jobs”, with ‘Countryfile’ and sports presenting also among his current duties, while Alex then clarified: “But here [on ‘The One Show’] we earn the same.”
Last year, Alex admitted she’d been “shocked” to discover how much more a year her co-presenter was earning than her, later insisting the gap between them at ‘The One Show’ had been “put right”.
After the figures relating to the BBC’s biggest earners were made public, Alex was one of a number of high-profile women who co-signed an open letter to BBC director Tony Hall, calling for him to address the gender pay gap at the corporation, which was also supported by sports presenter Clare Balding, journalist Victoria Derbyshire and ’Today’ programme host Mishal Husain.
The letter said: “The pay details released in the annual report showed what many of us have suspected for many years ... that women at the BBC are being paid less than men for the same work.
“Compared to many women and men, we are very well compensated and fortunate. However, this is an age of equality and the BBC is an organisation that prides itself on its values.
“You have said that you will ‘sort’ the gender pay gap by 2020, but the BBC has known about the pay disparity for years. We all want to go on the record to call upon you to act now.”