Page last updated at 12:23 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

BBC confirms star salary pay cut

Joanthan Ross
Jonathan Ross is one of the BBC's top earners

The BBC has confirmed that stars' salaries will be reduced when their contracts next come up for renewal.

A spokeswoman said presenters' fees were influenced by market conditions which had "clearly changed" due to the economic downturn.

No information was given as to how much reduction would be made to salaries.

It comes after director general Mark Thompson's earlier announcement that senior BBC staff would not receive any pay rises or bonuses until 2010.

The BBC does not comment on the salaries of individuals, however a spokeswoman said: "Whilst it's true to say that we are, of course, honouring existing contracts, our presenters are aware that when contracts fall due for renewal, the fee will be reduced."

"We hugely value our talented presenters, but the fees we pay are influenced by market conditions, which have clearly changed.

"Naturally, those on the highest fees will be most affected by market conditions. Everyone at the BBC is conscious of the pressures that the public is facing," she added.

'Walk away'

Last June, a review commissioned by the BBC's governing body, the BBC Trust, found that presenters like Jonathan Ross and Chris Moyles were not receiving salaries above the market rate.

The report said in some cases stars were getting paid less than they would receive elsewhere and added that the top 30 to 40 stars across all TV and radio each earned more than 1m a year.

But it said the BBC should "walk away" from stars who are too expensive.

The review was commissioned after some salary details were leaked to the press, including a three-year deal for Jonathan Ross reportedly worth 18m.

Other figures suggested that Jeremy Paxman was paid 940,000 a year and Radio 2's Sir Terry Wogan got 800,000 a year, while Radio 1 breakfast host Chris Moyles took home 630,000.

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