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Call to reveal BBC presenters' salaries but should we know details of Stephen Nolan and others pay packets?

Published 02/08/2016

Stephen Nolan
Stephen Nolan
Critical: Damian Collins

MPs have said those salaries of BBC stars paid more than the Prime Minister should be revealed - but should the public know what presenters like Sephen Nolan are paid out of the licence fee?

The Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee said there was "no good reason" for performers, presenters and executives to "hide" their pay if they earn more than the PM.

DUP MP Ian Paisley speaking on the BBC Stephen Nolan show argued there was a public interest in the public knowing what top earners were paid.

He also argued that if they were published an argument could be made to pay staff more.


But should the public know what stars are paid.

Nolan is one of the hardest working presenters on the BBC. As well as his morning phone-in show on Radio Ulster on Monday to Friday, he also presents on the national  5 Live two nights a week and hosts a BBC Northern Ireland television show.

While he is thought to be one of the highest paid presenter at BBC Northern Ireland, he says his contract prevents him disclosing his earnings.


The BBC argues that the publication of salaries would gave rival broadcasters an unfair advantage in contract negotiations.

Acting chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee Damian Collins said it was "disingenuous" for the BBC to claim it needed confidentiality to prevent talent poaching by rivals.

The MPs also criticised the appointment of Rona Fairhead as chairwoman of the new BBC unitary board until 2018 without an open public competition.

She currently heads the BBC Trust, which will be abolished under the White Paper plans.

Belfast Telegraph

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