Belfast Telegraph

BBC Pay: Start of Stephen Nolan show on his salary to be presented by Jim Allister

By Claire Williamson

BBC presenter Stephen Nolan has revealed that the start of his Thursday morning show will be presented by TUV leader Jim Allister - as he is set to be questioned over his headline making salary.

It comes after figures released by the BBC revealed that Stephen Nolan makes more than £400,000, while Radio 2's Chris Evans is the top earner pulling in more than £2 million. Mr Nolan is the highest paid on air talent earner within the regional organisation, and joint 9th highest paid overall.

Nolan, who also presents TV shows on BBC One Northern Ireland, said he would be quizzed on his own Radio Ulster morning show on Thursday which he dubs "the biggest show in the county".

Speaking earlier he said: "I will be as accountable to all of you as we do every other day with other people."

However in spite of this, he did give media interviews on Wednesday and later that evening revealed that the beginning of the show will be presented by Jim Allister.

He tweeted: "The start of Nolan show will be presented by former QC and Stormont inquisitor Jim Allister - only on the Biggest Show in the Country".

When questioned earlier in the day by Seamus McKee on Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme, Nolan said he was "not born with a silver spoon in my mouth" and said he was trying to "earn as much money as I can".

He said: "I'm very content that now the BBC has decided to publish the salaries and you know in the BBC that it is for them to decide that not me, I'm saying no opposition. I could be saying I don't want to talk to you, I'm happy to talk to you. I don't know what other way to put it I'm not putting a value on me.

"The BBC is the most prestigious brand, I believe in the world, I care about it passionately. They give you support in terms of the production team like no other and am very proud to work for it and think it's an incredible organisation."

When asked if he would accept a cut in salary if BBC bosses decided to do so in order to address the gender pay divide, to which he said it "depends what your current situation is".

He said: "It depends what's on offer. It depends what your current situation is and depends on the type of programme you are doing, it depends on your situation.

"That's what negotiation is. What are your alternatives, what are your life circumstances at the time."

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