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Stephen Nolan’s salary increases by up to £15k, annual BBC report reveals

The Radio Ulster presenter is the sixth highest earner at the corporation


Stephen Nolan. Photo by Kevin Scott/Belfast Telegraph.

Stephen Nolan. Photo by Kevin Scott/Belfast Telegraph.

Stephen Nolan. Photo by Kevin Scott/Belfast Telegraph.

Broadcaster Stephen Nolan’s salary increased up to around £15,000 last year, as he remains in the BBC’s top 10 earners.

The Radio Ulster presenter’s pay for 2020/21 of £405,000-£409,999 placed him sixth on the list as the BBC released its annual report.

It follows Mr Nolan’s salary increase of around £65,000 in 2019/20.

Mr Nolan, who also has shows on Radio 5 Live, earns the same amount of money as BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce.

He earns more than Radio One DJ Scott Mills, Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer, presenter Vanessa Feltz and radio presenter Lauren Laverne.

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Details of Mr Nolan's earnings through programmes commissioned for the BBC from his independent production company are not, however, included in the figure.

It comes after a Twitter user paid the radio presenter a six figure sum in damages after he posted false and defamatory allegations about Mr Nolan, while another paid a five figure amount.

A spokesperson for BBC Northern Ireland said Mr Nolan’s salary reflects his income across many projects including his network programmes for BBC Radio 5 Live, his daily BBC Radio Ulster shows and live television work.

“His published pay may vary each year, depending on when payments for work completed are actually made,” continued BBC NI.

"The difference is a payment for a series of Nolan Live broadcast in March 2020, owed from the previous financial year.”

Sports presenter Gary Lineker is still the BBC's highest earning on-air talent, despite last year agreeing to a pay reduction of around £400,000.

Zoe Ball remains the broadcaster's second highest paid talent after requesting a pay cut when agreeing a new two-year deal as Radio 2's breakfast host.

The corporation's annual report for 2020/21 shows it has slashed 10% from its pay bill for top talent, after some of its biggest names agreed to salary cuts or quit.

It was announced last year that Match Of The Day host Lineker had taken a pay cut, which has reduced his pay from £1.75 million to £1.36 million.

Graham Norton is the only person to drop out of the top 10, after being the third-highest earner in 2019/20.

He left his Radio 2 Saturday show for Virgin Radio in December last year, and appears on the 2020/21 list with a salary of £155,000-£159,999.

Norton's salary from his popular TV chat show is not included because it is a BBC Studios production.

The report covers the first six months of BBC director-general Tim Davie's tenure.

Mr Davie said: "The BBC has delivered outstanding content and value to audiences in extraordinary circumstances this year.

“I am proud of all we have achieved to inform, educate and entertain the Nation in record numbers during the pandemic.

"The BBC is responding to global competition and pressure on our finances. But, we know we must do much more to ensure licence fee payers across the UK get best value from the BBC, to maintain their trust and provide a service they cannot do without.

"I am absolutely focused on making the reforms we need to ensure the BBC is positioned to offer all audiences the best possible service well into the future.”

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