Edinburgh’s BBC star Nicky Campbell agrees to pay cut

Nicky Campbell.
Nicky Campbell.
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BBC star Nicky Campbell has taken a salary cut following the public corporation’s gender pay row.

The BBC Radio 5 Live host has joined fellow presenters John Humphrys, Huw Edwards, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson and Jeremy Vine in agreeing to pay cuts.

Campbell, 56, who hails from Edinburgh, confirmed the decision himself.

He made the announcement he was taking a reduction while on air during today’s BBC 5 Live’s Breakfast show.

“It’s all very civilised and collegiate,” he said.

The salary cuts now heap pressure on other highly paid BBC stars such as DJ Chris Evans to make new deals.

Last year, the broadcaster published a list of its top earners, setting out the pay for staff on more than £150,000.

The figures revealed a shocking gap in the earnings of its best-known male and female presenters and actors.

Radio 2’s Evans topped the list on more than £2 million, while the highest paid woman was Claudia Winkleman on between £450,000 and £499,999.

Humphrys, 74, has had his pay slashed from around £600,000- £650,000 to £250,000-£300,000.

The pay cuts were revealed amid a controversy over the gender pay gap at the corporation. The BBC’s China editor Carrie Gracie resigning from her role in protest at inequalities.

Humphrys said: “It was my decision and it’s the third and they have been volunteered in each case.

“The BBC is in a very, very different position from what it was all those years ago when I was, like many other people in the BBC, having money pretty much thrust upon us because there was loads of money in the BBC ...

“There was no shortage of cash. There is a shortage of cash. And it seems to me - and I thought this before the salary disclosures last year, but the salary disclosures reinforced the idea - that some of us were earning much more than others.”

Humphrys said his Today salary had been “exaggerated” when it was made public because of earnings from TV show Mastermind, “but it was clearly larger by a margin than anybody else’s on the programme. That’s really the reason for wanting to reduce it”.

He added: “I’ve been at the BBC for an awfully long time and I’ve been paid very well and I’m not exactly on the breadline.”

Asked if it would make a difference to his day-to-day life, Humphrys said: “I don’t think I’ll be selling matches in the street ... I’m being facetious. I’ve been very well paid for a very long time.”

The BBC confirmed that Humphrys’ Today programme colleague, Nick Robinson, had also taken a salary cut.

“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,” the BBC said.

“These are great journalists and presenters, who have a real connection with the audience. We are proud to have them working at the BBC.

“The final details of some of these changes are still being discussed and there are further conversations that the BBC will have with others in due course.”

Radio 2 host Vine, who was one of the highest-paid stars earning £700,000-£749,999, told the BBC News Channel he had no difficulty accepting his pay cut.

“I think it all needs to be sorted out and I support my female colleagues who have rightly said that they should be paid the same when they are doing the same job,” he said.

“It is just a no-brainer, so it wasn’t a problem for me to accept one.”

Last year’s list showed that BBC News presenter Edwards earned £550,000-£599,999 and Sopel, the BBC’s North America editor, received £200,000-£249,999.

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