Graham Norton Can't 'Justify' His BBC Salary But Points Finger At Higher Earning ITV Stars

He's claimed it "would really shock the public" to find out how much ITV presenters like Phillip Schofield are raking in compared to the BBC's stars.

Graham Norton has admitted he doesn’t think there’s any justification for his and several of his BBC colleagues’ high salaries, but insisted they’re small change compared to what ITV’s big names earn.

For the last three years, the BBC has been required to publish the salaries of its top-earning stars, with Graham – who hosts a weekly talk show on BBC One and a show on Radio 2 – revealed as the third highest-paid on-screen talent this year, on between £610,000 and £614,999 a year.

Graham Norton
Graham Norton
Pacific Press via Getty Images

Speaking about his salary, Graham told Radio Times: “All the people who say, ‘He earns that, he doesn’t deserve that’, they’re absolutely right. You cannot justify my wages, so I don’t try.

“Am I still cashing the cheques? Yes, because somehow the market forces have decreed this is my value. I don’t discuss money. I don’t meet Tony Hall [the head of the BBC] and go, ‘Actually, Tony, I’d like some more. Thanks, Tony’.”

However, pointing the finger at ITV, he’s insisted what he earns is nothing compared to his counterparts at the rival broadcaster.

“For some reason, MPs want to know what famous people at the BBC earn,” he said. “If they could get ITV to tell them what Phillip Schofield gets, they’d love to know.

“Also, I have to say, what would really shock the public is to discover the disparity between ITV and BBC. People would go, ‘Wow!’”

Graham claims the public would be shocked if they knew what ITV stars like Phillip Schofield earned
Graham claims the public would be shocked if they knew what ITV stars like Phillip Schofield earned
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He added: “Also, you may hate me or Gary Lineker or Zoe Ball, but that’s not just what the licence fee is paying for.

“It’s paying for this overall thing. And it’s not like I want to dob people in it, but you read that list and go, really? Me and Gary Lineker are top of the tree? No. We all know there are people who earn a lot more than me and Gary.”

As suggested by Graham, Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker has been named the BBC’s highest-earning on-screen talent for the last two years, pulling in at least £1.75 million a year.

He recently admitted that he would consider taking a pay cut in order to help even the playing field when it comes to gender pay disparity at the BBC.

Radio Times

Read Graham’s full interview in the new issue of Radio Times, out now.


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