The BBC's top earners feature four women for the first time

This is great progress...

(Image credit: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Cen)

Zoe Ball, BBC Radio 2 and Strictly it Takes Two Presenter, is now the BBC’s second-highest earner with a salary of £1.36m — nine times higher than the Prime Minister. Gary Lineker remained in the top spot with an unchanged salary of £1.75m

The BBC’s annual report has come under fire in recent years due to its large gender imbalance. Just three years ago the highest-paid woman - Claudia Winkelman - was only earning between £450,000 and £500,000.

But the highest-paid man — Chris Evans — was on between £2.2m and £2.25m. And the top seven earners were all men. The BBC’s male presenters were told they should expect lower salaries in the coming years in a bid to close the gender gap. It was revealed in a report later in the year that men working for the BBC earn an average of 9.3% more than women. This erupted into a scandal with a number of resignations from women and the beginning of men accepting pay cuts.

This year's salary report marks the start of some hopeful change, with four women in the top for the first time ever. The gender split of presenters earning more than £150,000 is now 55:45 in favour of men, an improvement on 75:25 in 2017.

The BBC’s general director, Time Davie said, "we made good progress if you look across the industry we're in a good place, but we've got work to do".

Following complaints after the gender pay scandal in 2017, 700 women were given pay raises according to Freedom of Information figures obtained byThe Guardian. Among those were Vanessa Feltz, Lauren Laverne and Fiona Bruce who are all now in the top ten.

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Fiona Bruce, at number six, below Huw Edwards, is earning at least £450,000 with thanks to a £195,000 raise. Vanessa Feltz, below Fiona Bruce, had a raise of £50,000, taking her to at least £405,000. And Desert Island Discs presenter, Lauren Laverne’s salary was taken up to at least £395,000, making her a higher earner than Alan Shearer.

The list is largely made up of radio presenters, as television staff are exempt from transparency requirements if they’re paid through BBC Studios, which most are.

Lauren Hughes
Lauren Hughes

Lauren is deputy editor at woman& in the UK and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has worked on the woman&home brand for four years. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine. After starting out working for a local paper in Yorkshire, her journalism career took her to Bristol where she hunted out stories for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant.

Lauren loves helping people share their stories, bringing experiences to life online, honing her interview techniques with everyone from authors to celebrities, headteachers to local heroes. As well as having a good nose for a story, Lauren has a passion for the English language and years of experience optimizing digital content to reach the widest audience possible. During her time at w&h, Lauren has worked on big brand campaigns like the Amazing Women Awards and assisted in developing w&h expert-approved Buyer's Guides—the place to go if you're looking to splash out on an important purchase and want some trusted advice. In addition to her journalism career, Lauren also has a background in copywriting for prestigious brands such as Inhabit Hotel, eco-development K'in in Tulum, social enterprise The Goldfinger Factory and leading London architect Holland Harvey, using language in all its glorious forms, from detailed guidebooks to snappy social content. 

A big fan of adventure, Lauren is also a keen travel writer and loves sharing tips on where to find the best places to eat, drink, and be merry off the beaten track. Lauren has written a series of travel guides for London hotels and loves sharing her insights into a destination's cultural and culinary offerings. If you need a recommendation on any UK destination, she's more than happy to help. At the weekend, you'll usually find her hanging out with her pet cat (or anyone else's pet she can get her hands on), escaping to the countryside, or devouring a good book. 

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