The ongoing debate about the pay gap between the genders in the entertainment industry when the Government of the U.K. forced public broadcaster, the BBC to reveal the salaries of many of its best-paid stars. The BBC has been one of the leading television producers in the world for decades and remains free of advertising in the U.K. and is funded by a license fee paid by the British public; the salaries of stars has become an issue as many politicians wished to know how much of the $3.8 billion received from taxpayers each year was awarded to stars on the two network channels operated by the BBC.
Variety reports a major pay gap still exists at the BBC with male presenters and broadcasters taking home the largest chunk of the pay from the British network. Radio host and former “Top Gear” presenter Chris Evans is the top paid star at the BBC with more than $2 million in salary provided each year; the closest rival to Evans remains “Match of the Day” host and former England soccer player Gary Lineker, who earns over $1.75 million per year.
The major pay gap comes when discussing the top paid female stars on the BBC, who are led by presenter Claudia Winkleman with an estimated salary of more than $450,000. Wimbledon tennis host Sue Barker tops the sports salary list for women with the BBC with over $300,000 in annual salary.
The overall view of salaries paid by the BBC becomes a little murky when one takes into account the fact shows produced by independent production companies are not included in the annual report from the network. This means the stars of “Sherlock” and “Top of the Lake” are not included in the sharing of salary details offered by the BBC.