Belfast Telegraph

Eddie Mair denies gender pay dispute is behind decision to quit BBC after 30 years

By Lucy Mapstone

Eddie Mair has said he offered to take a pay cut while working at the BBC, and insisted he did not leave because of "pay problems".

The broadcaster, who is leaving the corporation after more than 30 years and will now host a new programme at LBC, was reported to have refused to take a cut in salary in the wake of the BBC's gender pay dispute.

Mair was revealed last year to be one of the BBC's top earners, with a salary between £300,000 and £349,999, and his male colleagues - including John Humphrys, Huw Edwards and Jon Sopel - have now agreed to pay cuts.

Mair said it "tickled" him that he was "apparently refusing" to reduce his own salary.

He wrote in the Radio Times: "None of my thinking has been influenced by the BBC's pay problems. I'd offered, in writing, to take a cut.

"The first article appeared before we'd even discussed pay, and later it was said I was staying off work in some kind of protest: in fact, as RT readers know, I was in hospital trying to avoid sepsis."

Mair, 52, said the BBC "begged" him to "please go sooner" after he revealed his plans to leave.

"But I insisted on working my notice," he added.

He said that "another employer came along" a year ago, before the salaries of top BBC talent earning more than £150,000 were revealed.

Mair will relinquish the helm of the PM flagship evening news programme on August 17.

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