The BBC has more than 40 journalists who are paid more than the UK prime minister’s £150,000 salary.
At the top end of the scale is Jeremy Vine (pictured) – at five prime ministers – who is rewarded mainly for his talk and DJ duties on Radio 2 in the afternoons. He is also the graphics supremo when it comes to election-night coverage and presents BBC Two quiz show Eggheads.
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Next is veteran Radio 4 Today presenter John Humphrys, who also presents Mastermind, and is on four PMs at £600,000 to £649,999.
While many of those on big money are well-known celebrities, others will come as a surprise.
Stephen Nolan for instance, the BBC Northern Ireland presenter, is paid between £400,000 and £449,999.
James Harding, who heads up the entire news division, is only the seventh best paid journalist at the BBC on £340,000 a year.
Among the best paid reporters working for the BBC are:
- Political editor Laura Kuenssberg on £200,000-£249,999
- North America editor Jonathan Sopel on £200,000-£249,999
- Economics editor Kamal Ahmed on £150,000-£199,999.
- Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen on £150,000 to £199,999
- Deputy Political editor John Pienaar on £150,000 to £199,999.
On his own radio show today, Jeremy Vine asked BBC director of radio James Purnell how he justified paying him between £700,000 and £749,999 a year.
Purnell said: “You’re a fantastic broadcaster, you provide a huge public service. Let’s take the last few weeks, you’ve been talking about funeral care and how people were being ripped off for that. That is something that I’m proud to have on the BBC, proud to have in our country and plays a vital role in our democracy.”
He added: “I think the core point to make is there is a market for the Jeremy Vines, there’s a market for John Humphrys, there’s a market for Chris Evans, there’s a market for people at the BBC and that is the reality. We are not operating in the same market as people who go and work for the civil service.”
Andrew Marr, who is paid just over £400,000 a year by the BBC, said he has been offered more money by commercial rivals in the past.
He said in a statement: “Following the publication of the BBC’s annual report, I can confirm that I’m paid £400,475 a year. It covers the weekly Sunday morning show, my radio work, documentary commissions, television obituaries, and work on big news events such as elections and the both the Scottish and UK referenda coverage.
“It’s less, of course, than the £600,000 I was widely reported to be earning a couple of years ago; or indeed the £3 million a year Daily Telegraph claimed I was paid. As the BBC moves to deal with highly paid employees, my salary has been coming down. I now earn £139,000 a year less than I did two years ago.
“In the past I have been offered deals by the BBC’s commercial rivals at a higher rate than the corporation would pay.”
Daily Politics host Andrew Neil told viewers of Wednesday’s programme: “The BBC has published details of the salaries of onscreen talent, which you may be surprised to know includes me – as on screen talent.”
BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker defended receiving a higher salary than co-presenter Louise Minchin, saying the pair were paid “exactly the same” for their work on the morning show, but that he had another job presenting Football Focus.
BBC world affairs editor John Simpson, who was revealed to earn between £150,000 and £199,999 a year, said on Twitter today: “Why does the government actively seek to damage the BBC, one of the few things the world admires about the UK at present, with this pointlessness?
He added: “Ofcom poll last week showed many more people satisfied with BBC’s programmes than those of ITV, Channel 4 & Sky. Didn’t see that in anti-BBC press.”
Complete list of BBC journalists earning more than £150,000:
Note: Press Gazette has used its judgement to decide who qualifies as a journalist. This list excludes a number of DJs and presenters who we decided don’t mainly work in a role that could be described as journalism.
|Salary band||Name||Main BBC job|
|£700,000-£749,999||Jeremy Vine||Presenter, Radio 2|
|£600,000-£649,999||John Humphrys||Presenter, Today and Mastermind|
|£550,000-£599,999||Huw Edwards||Presenter, News at Ten|
|£400,000-£449,999||Andrew Marr||Presenter, Andrew Marr Show|
|£400,000-£449,999||Nicky Campbell||Presenter, Radio 5|
|£400,000-£449,999||Stephen Nolan||Presenter, BBC Northern Ireland|
|£350,000-£399,999||Fiona Bruce||Presenter, TV news, Antiques Roadshow|
|£300,000-£350,000||James Harding||Director, News and Current Affairs|
|£300,000-£349,999||Eddie Mair||Presenter, Radio 4|
|£250,000-£299,999||George Alagiah||Presenter, News at Six|
|£250,000-£299,999||Nicholas Robinson||Presenter, Today|
|£250,000-£299,999||Evan Davis||Presenter, Newsnight|
|£200,000-£250,000||Francesca Unsworth||Director, World Service Group|
|£200,000-£249,999||Victoria Derbyshire||Presenter, BBC Two|
|£200,000-£249,999||Mishal Husain||Presenter, Today|
|£200,000-£249,999||Martha Kearney||Presenter, Radio 4 World at One|
|£200,000-£249,999||Laura Kuenssberg||Correspondent, political editor|
|£200,000-£249,999||Andrew Neil||Presenter, Daily Politics|
|£200,000-£249,999||Jonathan Sopel||Correspondent, North America editor|
|£200,000-£249,999||Dan Walker||Presenter, BBC Breakfast|
|£150,000-£199,999||Kamal Ahmed||Correspondent, economics editor|
|£150,000-£199,999||Jeremy Bowen||Correspondent, Middle East editor|
|£150,000-£199,999||Ben Brown||Presenter, BBC News Channel|
|£150,000-£199,999||Gavin Esler||Presenter, BBC News Channel|
|£150,000-£199,999||John Pienaar||Correspondent, deputy political editor|
|£150,000-£199,999||Sophie Raworth||Presenter, BBC News at One|
|£150,000-£199,999||John Simpson||Correspondent, World Affairs editor|
|£150,000-£199,999||Kirsty Wark||Presenter, Newsnight|
|£150,000-£199,999||Justin Webb||Presenter, Today|
|£150,000-£199,999||Adrian Chiles||Presenter, Radio 5|
|£150,000-£199,999||Jonathan Agnew||Presenter, cricket correspondent|
|£150,000-£199,999||Naga Munchetty||Presenter, BBC Breakfast|
|£150,000-£199,999||David Jordan||Director, Editorial Policy and Standards|
|£150,000-£199,999||Keith Blackmore||Managing Editor|
|£150,000-£199,999||Fiona Campbell||Controller, BBC News, Mobile and Online|
|£150,000-£199,999||James Gray||Deputy Head of Current Affairs|
|£150,000-£199,999||Mary Hockaday||Controller, World Service English|
|£150,000-£199,999||David Holdsworth||Controller, English Regions|
|£150,000-£199,999||Ian Katz||Editor, Newsnight|
|£150,000-£199,999||Jonathan Munro||Head of Newsgathering|
|£150,000-£199,999||Adrian Van Klaveren||Head of Strategic Change, World Service|
|£150,000-£199,999||Moira Stuart||Presenter, reads news on Radio 2|
Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire