26/01/2018 08:03 GMT | Updated 26/01/2018 14:39 GMT

BBC Male Presenters Accept Salary Cuts Following Row Over Unequal Pay

It follows John Humphrys' controversial off-air comments about pay.

A group of leading male presenters at the BBC have accepted pay cuts following revelations over equal pay. 

Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson and Jeremy Vine have all agreed to have their salaries reduced, the corporation revealed in a statement this afternoon. 

The move comes after the broadcaster’s China editor Carrie Gracie resigned from her role in protest at unequal pay, and called for men and women at the corporation to be paid the same, the Press Association reported

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The BBC's China editor Carrie Gracie resigned from her post in a protest over unequal pay 

Last year, the broadcaster published a list of its top earners, setting out the pay for staff on more than £150,000, revealing a shocking gap in the earnings of its most well-known male and female presenters and actors. 

Radio 2’s Chris Evans topped the list on more than £2 million while the highest paid woman was Claudia Winkleman on between £450,000 and £499,999.

 Radio 2 host Vine was one of the highest paid stars, earning £700,000-£749,999, while BBC News presenter Edwards earned £550,000-£599,999 and Sopel, the BBC’s North America editor, received £200,000-£249,999.

Gracie revealed she had been earning £135,000 before the BBC offered her a £45,000 rise, which she rejected.

Meanwhile Humphrys, who presents the Radio 4 Today programme, was shown to earn between £600,000 and £650,000. 

He said at the time: “I have taken a couple of sizeable, very large, very sizeable pay cuts just recently. How much? I don’t know… Would I chop my salary in half? Maybe I would, I don’t know.” 

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Huw Edwards has also agreed to take a pay cut, the broadcaster said 

This morning, the BBC’s media editor Amol Rajan claimed that Humprys’ pay cut is “something in the order of around £200,000”, taking his salary for the Today programme “between £250,000 and £300,000″.  

Earlier this month, controversial off-air comments made by Humphrys about the equal pay row were heard in a leaked recording.

The broadcasting veteran was heard to say he could hand over more than the entire salary of his colleague Sopel, and still be “left with more than anybody else”.

Humphrys told ITV News he backed equal pay, stating: “We are in habit, Jon and I, of winding each other up and the purpose of this jokey – I emphasise jokey – exchange was a bit of mutual mickey-taking, and that is all it was.”

In a statement this afternoon, the BBC said it was “proud” to have the male presenters taking a pay cut working at the broadcaster. 

“We are very grateful to Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson, and Jeremy Vine, who have agreed that their pay will now be reduced,” a spokesperson said. 

“These are great journalists and presenters, who have a real connection with the audience.  We are proud to have them working at the BBC.

“The final details of some of these changes are still being discussed, and there are further conversations that the BBC will have with others in due course.”