Anger at OAP TV licence cuts after Stephen Nolan £65k pay rise

The BBC has faced strong criticism after it revealed that some of its stars have enjoyed significant pay rises despite a worsening financial outlook for the broadcaster.
Stephen Nolan's pay has increased by £65,000 this yearStephen Nolan's pay has increased by £65,000 this year
Stephen Nolan's pay has increased by £65,000 this year

The BBC published figures yesterday in its annual report which showed that NI presenter Stephen Nolan earns between £390,000 and £394,999 from the licence fee, making him one of the top 10 best paid BBC presenters.

His pay increased by around £65,000 in 2019-20.

The figures do not include other programmes he presents like Top Table, as they are made by an independent production company.

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A BBC NI spokesperson said: “Stephen’s salary represents his income across many projects including his network programmes BBC Radio 5 Live, his daily BBC Radio Ulster shows and live television work.

“His published salary each year may vary, depending on when payments for work completed are actually made.”

The report also reveals that the pay of BBC Northern Ireland director Peter Johnston rose again to between £195,000 and £199,999 in 2019-20 from between £175,000 and £179,999 last year. The BBC NI spokesperson said this was the “appropriate rate for the scale and scope of the role”.

East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell responded that the salaries will be viewed by those aged over 75 who are losing their free TV licences as a demonstration of where the corporations’ priorities lie.

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“Those over-75s who have had their free television licence stripped from them may have most to say about publication of the corporation’s elite earners,” he said.

He said the new BBC Director General must provides full transparency where the BBC is paying production companies owned by BBC staff.

TUV leader Jim Allister said: “At a time when more and more people are turning from the BBC to independent broadcasters and using digital subscription services the BBC licence fee is becoming increasingly untenable.”

He added: “The anti-Brexit and, in Northern Ireland, the framing of current affairs in very nationalist terms is something many resent.”

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He added that anyone looking at the social media accounts of some prominent BBC figures will be left in no doubt about their views on Brexit and Trump.

Gary Lineker was again the BBC’s best paid star, earning about £1.75m during the year, the same as last year His pay was mainly for presenting Match of the Day.

Radio 2 Breakfast Show host Zoe Ball is now earning £1.36 million, with her pay bracket up by £990,000.

Fiona Bruce moves up the published pay figures by £195,000 to around £450,000, now she is hosting Question Time.

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Graham Norton is on at least £725,000 – a rise of around £115,000. Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis’ pay is on around £370,000 – with her pay bracket rising by around £110,000.

John O’Connell, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “These bumper Beeb pay packets are picked from the pockets of pensioners and poor taxpayers, who are fed up of forking out for the licence fee under pain of imprisonment.”

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Alistair Bushe