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The BBC has cut the bill for its top talent by 10% since last year, its annual report will show today.

It reveals around £2million was cut from 2020’s £21.7million bill for on-air journalists and presenters earning more than £150,000 a year.

A chunk of that reduction came from Gary Lineker, who announced last year he would cut his salary for Match of the Day from £1.75m to £1.35m.

His new pay deal stands at £6.75million over five years, a drop of “a quarter” according to BBC director general Tim Davie.

Further savings are said to have been driven mainly by those “at the very top”, such as Radio 2 presenter Zoe Ball, who was on £1.36m last year, Graham Norton (£730k), news anchor Huw Edwards (£470k) and Radio 2’s Steve Wright (£479k).

Gary Lineker announced last year he would cut his salary for Match of the Day from £1.75m to £1.35m
(Image: Publicity Picture)

Further savings are said to have been driven mainly by those “at the very top”, such as Radio 2 presenter Zoe Ball
(Image: BBC)

Norton’s BBC pay will have dropped sharply since he quit his weekly Radio 2 show in December. Earnings for his chat show are not covered, because the series is made externally.

Shows made by independent production companies, including the BBC’s commercial arm BBC Studios, are not included in BBC pay figures.

This means Zoe Ball’s BBC pay does not include It Takes Two.

Graham Norton
(Image: BBC/So Television/Christopher Baines)

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A Beeb source said the annual report would show it “made a difference” in the pandemic.

The source said the BBC was “reforming at pace”, and added: “Our pay bill for top talent is down by 10%. This is not an isolated figure, but one of a range that demonstrate we are on the right path.

“We must work hard delivering for the public. That is where we are investing all our efforts.”

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