Graham Norton Admits BBC Pay Being Made Public Influenced His Decision To Leave Radio 2

“I won’t be on that list anymore. The kind of high earners list, which I didn’t like being on,” the presenter said.

Graham Norton has admitted his decision to quit his Radio 2 show was partly informed by his inclusion on the BBC’s list of top earners.

The presenter announced he was leaving his popular Saturday mid-morning show in November after being poached by Virgin Radio.

Figures released in September showed that he was among the top earners at the Beeb, earning about £725,000 for his Radio 2 show and some TV work, but not his BBC One chat show.

In a new interview with Times Radio, Graham said he “didn’t like” being included on the list of the corporation’s best paid stars.

Graham Norton
Graham Norton
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

“The only thing that was part of the decision was oh, if I stopped doing this, I’ll get off that list,” he said.

“I won’t be on that list anymore. The kind of high earners list, which I didn’t like being on it, hey, now I’m not.

“So to that extent it made me go… but that was sort of a bonus of leaving, it wasn’t the biggest driving force.”

However, Graham added that publishing the list did have some benefits.

“If they weren’t publishing that list, I don’t think there’d be nearly as many women on that list,” he said. “I think in the next few years, it will become much more diverse.”

Graham joined Radio 2 in 2010 to host the 10am–1pm slot on Saturdays, taking over from Jonathan Ross.

When he announced where he was heading after quitting Radio 2, the 57-year-old star said he was “excited and a little surprised to be joining Virgin Radio UK in 2021”.

He added: “I was very content where I was but the opportunity to host shows across the weekend seemed too good to miss out on.

“Plus the energy and enthusiasm at Virgin Radio are infectious and I can’t wait to get started!”

Claudia Winkleman will be taking over his Radio 2 slot.


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