Belfast Telegraph

He does eight shows a week: BBC chief defends Nolan £400k pay packet

By Jane Scott

BBC radio and television host Stephen Nolan remains one of the corporation's biggest paid stars, new figures have revealed.

The BBC yesterday published the salaries of some of its best-paid presenters for the second year in a row.

The list revealed that Belfast-born Mr Nolan received a salary of over £400,000 for presenting 360 radio shows and 20 television programmes in the past year.

He was joint ninth on a salary band of between £400,000 and £409,999, which he was paid for being the face and voice of 210 shows on Radio Ulster, 20 editions of Nolan Live on BBC One, 30 Question Time Extra Time broadcasts on Radio 5 Live and 120 Stephen Nolan shows, also on 5 Live.

BBC Northern Ireland director general Peter Johnston told BBC Radio Ulster: "The story is pretty much the same with Stephen's salary.

"Some more of the information is provided - he does eight shows a week.

"Last year, some of the comparisons, probably people were looking at top line presenters who present weekly shows, versus people like Stephen who do eight shows a week. He, unlike anyone else here has a very fixed network slot on 5 Live which is part of the story with his salary."

Defending his salary this time last year, Mr Nolan said he worked hard for it seven days a week on television and radio, often having two shows in one day.

"The BBC has very skilled negotiators who understand the market and they try to negotiate what they think they need to pay for the presenters they want," he said at the time.

"And I want to work at the BBC. I have always said from day one I want to work as much as I can, as hard as I can, be the best I can be, and, yeah - I want to earn as much as I can."

Gary Lineker headed the list of the top 12 highest-paid stars listed in the BBC's annual report from March 2017 to April of this year, which consists only of men.

The Match Of The Day host took home between £1.75m and £1,759,999. He replaces Chris Evans at the top, who receives between £1.6m and £1,669,999 for his Radio 2 Breakfast show.

Lineker and Evans are followed by Radio 2 DJ Graham Norton, who earns up to £609,999 - not including payments for his Friday night TV chat show.

The other big earners are also men - broadcasters Steve Wright, Huw Edwards, Jeremy Vine, Alan Shearer, Nicky Campbell and Nick Grimshaw.

Mary Berry's salary is published this year, showing the former Great British Bake Off judge earns between £190,000 to £199,999 "for a range of programmes and series".

Women on the list of stars earning more than £150,000 this year who appear to have received pay rises include Newsnight's Emily Maitlis. Maitlis, who was absent last year despite co-host Evan Davis appearing, took home £220,000 to £229,999. Woman's Hour host Jane Garvey, who has been outspoken in her criticism of the gender pay pay, is another new name. She was paid between £150,000 and £159,000 for work which also includes programmes on 5 Live and episodes of Fortunately.

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