Belfast Telegraph

Belfast born actor Derek Thompson defended by Casualty co-star over BBC salary

Casualty's Tom Chambers has defended his co-star Derek Thompson after the Belfast-born star was named to be the BBC's highest paid actor.

Last week it was revealed Thompson, who has played Charlie Fairhead in the BBC medical drama for over 30 years, earns between £350,000-£399,999.

Chambers said his co-star has earned the high wage due to his commitment to the show.

Speaking at the launch of his former Strictly Come Dancing partner Camilla Sacre-Dallerup’s self-help book, he told The Sun: “It’s like being a footballer — you earn your credits. I’ve just done six months on Casualty, but Derek has done 31 years of service.

“That means arriving in the dark at 6am and leaving when it’s dark at 9pm.

“It’s demanding stuff.

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Tom Chambers (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The BBC were forced to reveal the wages of any on-air talent earning more than £150,000, resulting in a row over its gender pay gap.

The broadcaster's highest paid man, Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans, earns £2.2 million, while highest earning woman Claudia Winkleman receives more than £450,000.

But Chambers, who portrays Sam Strachan on Casualty, claimed lots of men are bringing in wages for their families.

He said: “My wife works really hard as a stay-at-home mum, but I’m the only one bringing in a salary for our family.

“Many men’s salaries aren’t just for them, it’s for their wife and children, too.”

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