Dame Esther Rantzen furious at Gary Lineker pay as she calls for all BBC salaries to be cut to £150,000
Dame Esther Rantzen has taken aim at Gary Lineker amid the row over his pay, as she said that no one at the BBC should be paid more than the Prime Minister.
It was revealed on Tuesday that presenter Lineker would be taking a pay cut after topping the list of the broadcaster’s highest-earners.
The BBC confirmed the Match of the Day host has slashed his salary by a quarter after earning £1.75 million between March 2019 and 2020, with his new annual earnings standing at £1.35 million.
However, presenter and Childline boss Dame Esther spoke out against the football pundit’s pay during an appearance on BBC Breakfast as she referenced over-75s having to pay for their TV licences.
She said: ‘Being a BBC presenter gives you the key to so many magical kingdoms.
‘You get invited to red carpets events, you get free gifts showered on you, and to see that Gary Lineker took a voluntary pay cut of £400,000 sticks in your craw when you know that 75 plus-year-olds are having their free licences taken away.
‘So here’s the solution. Nobody working for the BBC, whether it’s in front or behind the camera, should be paid a salary more than the Prime Minister. Cut them right down to that poverty level of £150,000 per year.
‘They will still have all the commercial benefits, they will still be able to talk to their events and do their commercials for potato crisps, but at least you and I, paying our licence fee, will know that nobody working for the Beeb is paid more than the Prime Minister.’
BBC director-general Tim Davie announced Lineker has signed a new five-year contract with the BBC.
‘And he has done so at a saving of nearly a quarter over his last contract,’ Davie said. ‘We are hugely honoured to have a broadcaster of such brilliance at the BBC.
‘And this is a great example of giving audiences both the best talent and the best value.’
Following Lineker, Zoe Ball was second on the BBC rich list, earning £1.36 million, as the broadcaster revealed it has slashed the ratio of male to female highest-earners.
Reps for Gary Lineker declined to comment. Metro.co.uk has contacted the BBC.
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am.
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