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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
Minister ducks BBC salary debate
Terry Wogan
Terry Wogan is the UK's most listened-to radio DJ
Salaries paid to BBC stars are a matter for the corporation, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has said after details of radio DJs' earnings were leaked.

Ms Jowell told a Lords committee it would be "extremely dangerous" for her to comment on the salary details.

But pointing to ongoing negotiations about the BBC licence fee, she said the corporation's costs could affect those facing other broadcasters.

The leaks suggest Terry Wogan is Radio 2's highest earner on 800,000 a year.

Chris Moyles on Radio 1 reportedly receives 630,000, Chris Evans (Radio 2) 540,000 and Jonathan Ross (Radio 2) 530,000.

Jeremy Paxman is the latest presenter to have his reported salary revealed, with the Sun suggesting he is paid 240,000 for University Challenge.

New oversight

The BBC says it is looking into how the figures reached the press.

The government is planning to replace the BBC board of governors with a new BBC trust.

Asked by the Lords committee on BBC charter renewal about the salary levels, Ms Jowell said: "That is a matter for the BBC.

"That is also why it will be important that the BBC trust has this new accountability to the licence fee payer rather than to the institution of the BBC."

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