Belfast Telegraph

Stephen Nolan hits out at 'failed journalists' for spewing vitriol over BBC earnings

Nolan: 'I've put spotlight on politicians' and public sector pay over the years... it's only fair mine is now scrutinised'

By Jonathan Bell

Stephen Nolan was grilled on his salary on his return to his BBC Radio Ulster show this morning for the first time since his mega earnings from the broadcaster were revealed.

The tables were turned on the presenter as MLA and former barrister Jim Allister asked the questions of his £400,000 pay packet.

He pointed out that while he is paid for seven days a week working on local and network radio as well as television, he said there could be some on the published list that only work the one job.

In response to one caller, Mr Nolan said the coverage had been "fair", but the most vitriol he had received was from "failed journalists" trolls on Twitter that had a hidden agenda but it was not from the Northern Ireland media.

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"There are failed journalists or journalists who don't have the get up and go and they are not declaring their agenda," he said.

Tweeting on Thursday ahead of the show, he wondered what the talking point for his legion of followers would be.

You can see how the show unfolded in our live blog below.

Yesterday Nolan was revealed as receiving between £400,000 and £450,000 a year from the corporation. He was in the top 10 paid stars.

He justified his status saying he is a simple working-class man trying to earn as much as he can in a competitive market.

The Belfast man works seven days a week on local and network radio and on television.

The multi award-winning broadcaster was among a list of 96 BBC stars whose salaries were made public yesterday so licence fee payers can see where their money is being spent.

Nolan also revealed he had previously turned down attempts to poach him for "better pay and less work".

His revealed pay does not include payments to staff from production companies or BBC Worldwide, which generates commercial revenues.

It is well publicised that Nolan has private companies and is worth more than £1.7m, according to the latest Companies House records. But yesterday he focused on his BBC earnings which until now he had refused to discuss when pressed on air to reveal it by politicians and callers.

He said: "I feel like the BBC is trying to manage a situation where they've got presenters, and they're paying them what they feel they need to pay them. That is genuinely how I feel."

Read more: Defiant Nolan comes out fighting in BBC pay storm

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