Speaking on ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’, Richard said the broadcaster would “value freedom over salary.”
When discussing Chris’ potential new salary at Virgin, Richard said: “I have no idea what he earns at the BBC or even what he’s earning at Virgin. I think he just wanted a change.”
He continued: “Virgin Radio gives him a lot more freedom I suspect than he would have at the BBC. And Chris is somebody that I think would value freedom over salary.
“So I think it’s fantastic for Virgin Radio. Virgin Radio’s back in Britain and I think that this will put it firmly on the map.”
Chris was the second highest-paid star at the BBC, behind ‘Match Of The Day’ host Gary Lineker, earning between £1.6-1.7 million at the corporation last year.
This is more than three times the amount earned by the BBC’s highest-earning woman, Claudia Winkleman, with the gender pay gap at the company being a contentious issue ever since its top paid employees’ salaries were first publicised in 2017.
Meanwhile, speaking about how he convinced Chris to join Virgin, Richard Branson told ‘GMB’: “Well, 30 years ago I jumped on Concorde, British Airways Concorde - much against my best wishes, because [Chris] was travelling to New York - to try to persuade him to come and join Virgin Radio, and we ended up being successful then.
“30 years later, I was doing an interview with him on the Beeb, and I know I shouldn’t have, maybe it was a slight discourtesy to the Beeb to steal one of their people, but I did suggest that maybe a change of scenery would be good for him. Great to have him on board.”
‘Good Morning Britain’ airs every weekday from 6am.