Robert Peston reveals he applied to be Guardian editor and that ITV boosted his salary by more than one third

ITV political editor Robert Peston has revealed that the commercial broadcaster increased his BBC salary by more than a third.

But he said the £750,000 figure reported by the Daily Mail was wrong. He said his pay was "nothing remotely in that ball park".

Peston left his job of BBC economics editor to join ITV at the start of this year.

He told The Sunday Times that he left the BBC after ten years (previously working as business editor) because he had decided he wanted a new challenge after his youngest son completed his A-levels. Peston's wife died of cancer in 2012.

He said: "Purely by chance, a month later I got a call from ITV saying, would I be interested? I said yes, I’d be interested, but I’m too old to get into the whole job application thing.”

Peston said the BBC made him "an interesting offer" to stay and were about to put out a press release when ITV offered him his own show on Sundays.

He told The Sunday Times: "At that point, I thought, ‘You don’t turn down an offer like that.’ So I had to go back to the BBC and tell them to cancel the press release, and it was all a bit stressful. But I haven’t for a second regretted it.”

Peston on Sunday starts in the spring and is set to go out at 10am on ITV.

Talking about his salary, he said: "Obviously, the money matters, but this was about challenge, about getting more fun in my life, and this is fun.”

Peston also revealed that he applied to be Guardian editor when Alan Rusbridger resigned. He was not shortlisted.

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