Five male BBC presenters agree to pay cut over equal pay revelations

Five male BBC presenters agree to pay cut over equal pay revelations

Some of the BBC's leading male presenters have agreed to take a pay cut amid the controversy over the gender gap.

A BBC spokesman said: "We are very grateful to Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson, and Jeremy Vine, who have agreed that their pay will now be reduced".

However, the four men's names were removed from a subsequent version of the BBC website story which instead reported that "several" men had agreed cuts, naming only Radio 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell.

In turn, Tory minister Tracey Crouch reportedly turned down a request to feature on BBC Radio 4's flagship Today program, after its presenter John Humphrys made light of Gracie's resignation in a conversation with his colleague, the BBC's North American editor, Jon Sopel.

Carrie Gracie
Carrie Gracie

BBC presenter Carrie Gracie.

Details of the pay disparity between men and women at the BBC first came to light last year, when the broadcaster published the salaries of its top-earners - in turn revealing that only 35 percent of those who earned more than 150,000 pounds ($213,000) a year were female.

Gracie herself first put in a formal complaint in August when she found out that she received far less than her fellow worldwide editors Jon Sopel and Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen.

With the BBC now taking action, Gracie will return to the newsroom in London, saying she expects to be "paid equally".

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Mr Humphrys, who presents the Radio 4 Today programme, was shown to earn between £600,000 and £650,000.

Gracie's letter, however, highlighted the fact that of the BBC's four global editors, the two male editors earned at least 50 percent more than the two female editors. It revealed that just a third of the highest paid presenters were women.

Amol Rajan said while competition in the entertainment industry had intensified, the opposite has happened in news.

"That world has now disappeared - and these presenters now accept that a chunk of their salaries will have to disappear with it".

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The briefings on salary cuts are timed to coincide with a Parliamentary hearing on its gender pay gap next Thursday - and is nearly certainly created to draw some sting from what will be a hard encounter.

Gracie is due to appear before a select committee of MPs next week, shortly before the director general of the BBC, Tony Hall, his deputy, Anne Bulford and the director of news and current affairs, Fran Unsworth.

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