Zoe Ball has become the second highest paid star at the BBC after being handed a £1million pay rise for her Radio 2 role – as the broadcaster revealed its staff bill has rocketed to £1.5billion.
The 49-year-old is now the highest earning women at the corporation fetching £1.3million but is still lagging behind Match of the Day’s Gary Lineker who is now on £1.75million.
BBC accounts released at midday showed 76 presenters still earn more than the Prime Minister’s wage of £150,000 a year.
Radio 2 DJ Zoe Ball is now the highest paid female star at the BBC after the pay rise
It came as it emerged last night that the BBC had given pay rises to more than 700 female employees since the start of its equal pay scandal.
A Freedom of Information request revealed that at least 84 women were given pay increases through formal processes between July 2017 and March 2020.
During the same period, 608 women received a pay revision or increase through an informal pay enquiry.
The pay revelations are set to reignite fury over the BBC’s decision to strip almost 4million over-75s of their free TV licences.
The BBC has insisted it cannot afford the concession for all pensioners and says only around 900,000 who receive Pension Credit would continue to get it.
Gary Lineker is still the broadcaster’s highest paid stars the new accounts showed today
Last night pensioners’ groups demanded the corporation slash star pay if they are to expect over-75s to pay for their licences.
Dennis Reed, of pensioners’ campaign group Silver Voices, said: ‘This increase shows a warped sense of priorities by the BBC in a time of difficulty.
‘I would like to see them giving equal priority to poorer pensioners who struggle to pay their licence fee.’
The report shows there are now two stars raking in more than £1million, another earns between £500,000 and £1million, and 73 are on between £150,000 and £500,000.
Graham Norton and Steve Wright came in 3rd and 4th place in the BBC pay list today
And it says spend on on-air roles represents 10 per cent of total internal creative content – the same as the year before.
Tim Davie, the BBC’s new director-general, has vowed to slash the number of people employed by the corporation.
But the report is believed to show the total number has barely changed. It also reveals virtually the same number of senior managers as there were in the previous year.
Mr Davie is set to expand on his previous comments about tackling staffing levels in a speech today.
A source said: ‘[Mr Davie] will warn that public service BBC staffing levels must come down in the future.’
The ‘on-air talent’ bill covers those who appear on screen and on the radio.