BBC Pay List Sees Gary Lineker Named As Highest Earner For 4th Consecutive Year

The broadcaster published stars' salaries as part of its 2020/21 annual report.

Gary Lineker has been named as the BBC’s highest paid star for a fourth year in a row, despite last year agreeing to a pay reduction of around £400,000.

The corporation has just published its annual report for 2020/21, which revealed the salaries of presenters who earned above £150,000.

The Match Of The Day host took home between £1,360,000 and £1,364,999, having reduced his salary from £1.75m from the year before.

Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker
Laurence Griffiths - The FA via Getty Images

Radio 2’s breakfast host Zoe Ball remains the broadcaster’s second highest paid talent asking to reduce her pay by 28% to £980,000 to reflect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

This figure is lower than is listed in the 2020/21 annual report, which shows her earnings to be in the bracket of £1,130,000-£1,134,999 and which represents only a few months of Zoe’s new salary deal – including the reduction the presenter requested.

Zoe Ball
Zoe Ball
Yui Mok - PA Images via Getty Images

Not all stars’ earnings are published as the list does not include those who work on programmes produced by BBC Studios, which is classed as a commercial entity.

For example, the stars of shows such as EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing do not have their earnings included in the list.

Similarly, Graham Norton – who dropped out of the top 10 earners after leaving Radio 2 in December – does not have his salary from his chat show included as it is made by independent production company So Television and distributed by BBC Studios.

The BBC’s Top 40 earners 2020-2021

(figures taken from BBC News)

1. Gary Lineker - £1,360,000-£1,364,999

2. Zoe Ball - £1,130,000-£1,134,999

3. Steve Wright - £465,000-£469,999

4. Huw Edwards - £425,000-£429,999

=5. Fiona Bruce - £405,000-£409,999

=5. Stephen Nolan - £405,000-£409,999

7. Lauren Laverne - £395,000-£399,999

8. Vanessa Feltz - £390,000-£394,999

9. Alan Shearer - £390,000-£394,999

10. Scott Mills - £375,000-£379,999

11. Ken Bruce - £365,000-£369,999

12. Andrew Marr - £335,000-£339,999

=13. Emily Maitlis - £325,000-£329,999

=13. George Alagiah - £325,000-£329,999

15. Greg James - £310,000-£314,999

=16. Jeremy Vine - £295,000-£299,999

=16. Nicky Campbell - £295,000-£299,999

18. Dan Walker - £295,000-£295,999

19. Sophie Raworth - £280,000-£284,999

=20. Mishal Husain - £275,000-£279,999

=20. Jo Whiley - £275,000-£279,999

=20. Sara Cox - £275,000-£279,999

=23. Nick Robinson - £270,000-£274,999

=23. Evan Davis - £270,000-£274,999

=23. Jason Mohammad - £270,000-£274,999

26. Laura Kuenssberg - £260,000-£264,999

=27. Naga Munchetty - £255,000-£259,999

=27. Justin Webb - £255,000-£259,999

=29. Martha Kearney - £250,000-£254,999

=29. Mark Chapman - £250,000-£254,999

31. Sarah Montague - £245,000-£249,999

=32. Nick Grimshaw - £240,000-£244,999

=32. Emma Barnett - £240,000-£249,999

=32. Amol Rajan - £240,000-£249,999

=35. Jon Sopel - £230,000-£234,999

=35. Trevor Nelson - £230,000-£234,999

37. Tina Daheley - £225,000-£229,999

=38. Jeremy Bowen - £220,000-£224,999

=38. Katya Adler - £220,000-£224,999

40. Mary Berry - £215,000-£219,999

The BBC’s annual report showed it has slashed 10% from its pay bill for top talent.

Huw Edwards, Fiona Bruce, Vanessa Feltz, Ken Bruce and Emily Maitlis have all seen their salaries reduced, while radio presenters Scott Mills and Greg James have seen increases.

The gender balance of the top 10 highest-paid on-air talent was the same in 2020/21 as 2019/20, with six males and four females.

BBC director general Tim Davie said: “The BBC has delivered outstanding content and value to audiences in extraordinary circumstances this year. I am proud of all we have achieved to inform, educate and entertain the Nation in record numbers during the pandemic.

“The BBC is responding to global competition and pressure on our finances. But, we know we must do much more to ensure licence fee payers across the UK get best value from the BBC, to maintain their trust and provide a service they cannot do without.

“I am absolutely focused on making the reforms we need to ensure the BBC is positioned to offer all audiences the best possible service well into the future.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that The Graham Norton Show was produced by BBC Studios. In is, in fact, produced by So Television and distributed by BBC Studios.