Skip to navigationSkip to content

The BBC’s top male star is paid four times as much as its top female star

Top Gear
Big bucks.
  • Sam Rigby
By Sam Rigby

Growth editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

The BBC has revealed the salaries of its highest paid stars, and one thing is clear—it pays to be a man.

The corporation has been enjoying (largely) positive press this week after casting the first female Doctor in its long-running sci-fi series Doctor Who, but today’s annual report (pdf) suggests women aren’t quite making the same strides behind the scenes.

Of the BBC talent who earn over £150,000 ($195,000), about two-thirds are men.

Radio and TV host Chris Evans is the highest paid star, earning between £2.2m and £2.25m ($2.8-$2.9m) in 2016/2017. That’s more than four times as much as Claudia Winkleman, the highest paid female star, who made between £450,000 and £500,000 ($585,000-$650,000). Of the 14 stars earning over £400,000, just two are women.

Some notable names were absent from today’s report, including Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch, Top Gear presenter Matt LeBlanc, and Sir David Attenborough. They, and many others, aren’t paid directly by the BBC, but by independent production companies.

The UK government asked the BBC to release salary information for those earning more than £150,000 under the terms of the new Royal Charter, which sets out its responsibilities as a public broadcaster. The BBC is partially funded by a £147 annual license fee paid by members of the public.

Director general Tony Hall has admitted that there is “more to do” to tackle gender inequality.

“We’ve already set a clear and strong target for what we want to achieve by 2020: we want all our lead and presenting roles to be equally divided by men and women,” he said. “This is already having an impact—of the top talent we have hired or promoted in the last three years, more than 60 per cent are women.”

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.