BBC salary data shows huge pay gap between white and BME stars

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Tony Hall Director General of the BBC'We always try to pay people at a discount to the market

Other male/female divides of note include that of sporting presenters Gary Lineker and Clare Balding, with Lineker getting around £1.75m for that thing about football that's probably still on; a stark contrast to Clare Balding and her top rate of just (ahem) £200,000 for presenting the coverage of all the other sports.

While 12 men are listed as earning more than £400,000, there are only two women on this pay bracket - Claudia Winkleman, the presenter of Strictly Come Dancing, and Alex Jones, presenter of One Show who earns the same as her male counterpart Matt Baker. Of the talent listed in the report, only one-third are women.

Top Gear presenter Chris Evans was paid at least £2.2m by the BBC past year while Gary Lineker received more than £1.75m, according to figures published by the corporation after a government order to disclose the figures.

'Chris Evans is presenting the most popular show on the most popular radio network in Europe, ' Lord Hall said. David Dimbleby and David Attenborough's salaries were likely not included because they are paid by independent production companies.

In a tweet on Wednesday morning, Lineker wrote: "Happy BBC salary day". I blame my agent and the other TV channels that pay more.

The Match Of The Day presenter joked on Twitter how he would be needing a tin helmet come 11am.

Hall said that because the BBC had been singled out it was likely competitors would attempt to poach its talent and added that he was "satisfied" that its best paid talent were good value for money.

TODAY, the BBC has released a dossier disclosing the wages of its highest earners.

The biggest paycheck went to radio host Chris Evans, who made at least 2.2 million pounds (about $2.8 million) in 2016.

And there could be embarrassment for the presenters of flagship Radio 4 programme, Today. "They help make the BBC what it is", he told the Guardian.

The BBC was compelled by Britain's government to publish the salaries of on-air talent, which had previously been secret.

He continued: "This is not about saying people working at the BBC shouldn't be paid more than £150,000".

Shadow culture secretary Tom Watson defended the pay packets of top BBC stars, arguing that "the BBC is one of the world's greatest broadcasters and we shouldn't be surprised that its top stars - who millions of people tune in to watch and listen to every week - are well paid".

Anticipating the onslaught of criticism, BBC Director Tony Hall said the organisation is committed to closing the gender-pay gap.

The state broadcaster "fought tooth and nail" to resist revealing the sums that licence fee payers are forking out to television personalities, a ministerial source told the Daily Mail.

The BBC's disclosure of its highest earners has revealed how many starts from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds take home more than £150,000 ($195,435) per year.

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