This could cause a nice little stir
The BBC has launched a pre-emptive defence of how much it pays its leading talent, claiming fewer than a quarter of 1% of its TV and radio stars are on more than £150,000 a year.
Anticipating the potential furore that will come when it publishes the figures on Wednesday, the corporation is striving to minimise the impactof their disclosure.
The publication comes following sustained pressure from the government for the corporation to increase transparency on pay. Last year David Cameron ordered the BBC to disclose what it paid on-air talent earning more than £450,000 a year. This is likely to include stars such as Chris Evans, Fiona Bruce and Graham Norton.
But the figure was slashed to £150,000 under Theresa May in a move that means what the corporation pays a series of other well known faces – who are likely to include its political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, and the Today presenter, John Humphrys – will also be disclosed.
The latest BBC annual report records that 109 TV and radio presenters earn above £150,000 – more than the prime minister. It is thought that about 30 of those on the higher salaries work in news and current affairs.