Sheffield stars Dan Walker and Emily Maitlis climb list of BBC's best-paid staff

Sheffield stars Dan Walker and Emily Maitlis were among the winners as the BBC published the latest list of its best-paid staff.

Tuesday, 2nd July 2019, 3:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 3:53 pm

BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker’s salary rose by a quarter, from £220,000-£229,999 in 2017/18 to the £280,000 to £284,999 bracket last year.

Emily Maitlis, who fronts BBC Two’s Newsnight, also received a hefty pay rise, from £220,000-£229,999 in 2017/18 to between £260,000 and £264,999 in 2018/19.

Their rising wages were in contrast to many of the corporation’s best-known faces, whose pay packets took a hit last year.

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Dan Walker and Emily Maitlis were among the BBC's top earners for 2018/19
Dan Walker and Emily Maitlis were among the BBC's top earners for 2018/19

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Newsreader Huw Edwards and Radio 2 hosts Steve Wright and Jeremy Vine were among the household names who saw a drop in their earnings last year.

The biggest risers included DJ Jo Whiley, whose salary soared by around £100,000, and sports presenter Jason Mohammad, who received an extra £95,000.

Mr Walker’s earnings put him 22nd on the latest BBC pay list, published today as part of the organisation’s Annual Report, while Ms Maitlis was in 27th place.

BBC presenter Dan Walker receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Sheffield

The figures do not include earnings from some of the BBC’s highest-profile shows like Top Gear, Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing, as these are produced by BBC Studios, which is classed as a commercial entity.

Mr Walker’s pay packet last year may have been boosted by his presenting duties during the FIFA World Cup, which was in addition to his work on BBC Breakfast and Football Focus.

The 42-year-old grew up in Sussex but completed a journalism degree at the University of Sheffield and now lives in the city.

He was praised for helping to secure the Mi Amigo flypast earlier this year after meeting Tony Foulds, who witnessed the US bomber crash in Endcliffe Park as a boy in 1944 and has tended to the memorial since – a story first highlighted in The Star.

Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis at King Edward VII School, which she attended as a pupil, with headteacher Bev Jackson and chair of governors Carolyn Leary

Ms Maitlis, 48, who is one of the main presenters of the current affairs programme Newsnight, was raised in Sheffield, where she studied at King Edward VII School before attending Cambridge University.

The top earner on the BBC’s pay list for 2018/19 was Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, who received £1.75 million.

The number of stars earning over £150,000 increased from 64 to 75 last year, with the total talent bill rising by £11m to £159m.

The BBC said its efforts to reduce the gender pay gap appeared to be working, with the proportion of men among the top earners having fallen from 65 per cent when the list was first published in 2017 to 60 per cent last year.

The corporation added that its overall gender pay gap had fallen from 7.6 per cent last year to 6.7 per cent.

BBC general director Tony Hall said the growing number of women among its best-paid stars showed the corporation had ‘come a long way to becoming a fairer organisation’ since the list was first published two years ago.

But BBC Women said ‘staff are yet to have confidence that pay inequality is in the past’, and Damian Collins called the rising talent bill ‘concerning’, especially in light of plans to end free TV licences for those aged over 75.