Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 18:08 UK

Forsyth says stars are 'overpaid'


Bruce Forsyth: "I've always been paid too much money"

Strictly Come Dancing presenter Bruce Forsyth has revealed he has accepted a pay cut, and says he thinks all entertainers "get paid far too much".

In an interview with Newsnight, he said: "It's a good thing to cap the salaries and I think it should have probably been done a long time ago."

The 81-year-old star added most people had taken a cut with "goodwill because these are very, very hard times".

Forsyth is the latest BBC star to reveal his salary has been reduced.

Salary slash

Lizo Mzimba
Lizo Mzimba, BBC Entertainment correspondent

Bruce Forsyth isn't the first BBC star to reveal he's taking a pay cut, but he's certainly one of the most significant.

That's because he's seen as one of the 'old school', a presenter who's been a familiar face on TV for decades.

For someone of his long standing stature to do this will be seen by some as a clear indicator that times are changing.

And that no matter who you are, how popular you are or how long you've been a star, public opinion and financial pressures make pay reductions inevitable in the current environment.

"We've always been overpaid, but it's the demand," he said.

"It's like theatres, you'll only command a high salary if [you] put bums on seats.

"So if you are in that position, that does give you a status of asking for big money. But everybody's taken pay cuts now, I think it's a very good thing."

In June the BBC warned it stars to expect their salaries to be slashed as part of the corporation's plan to save money.

They were briefed at a regular meeting about plans to reduce pay when contracts are renewed.

Last week Jonathan Creek actor Alan Davies and Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles admitted they also had received a pay cut.

Davies revealed on his Twitter account that his pay had been reduced.

"Just had a 25% pay cut on Jonathan Creek. The BBC are 'driving down talent costs'!"

Chris Moyles
Chris Moyles recently admitted he has also had a pay cut

Moyles, who is Radio 1's longest serving breakfast DJ, said his salary had been cut by 20%.

"No-one likes to take a pay cut. But I want to work at the BBC, which is trying to save some of its gazillions, so who am I to get in the way?"

Forsyth, who has hosted Strictly Come Dancing since it began in 2004, is about to return with the seventh series.

Stars including Lynda Bellingham, Natalie Cassidy and Joe Calzaghe are participating.

The BBC has just announced the show has been rescheduled to coincide with ITV's Saturday night show The X Factor.

The full Bruce Forsyth interview can be seen on Newsnight on Friday on BBC Two from 2230 BST.

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BBC stars are warned on salaries
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