Gary Lineker becomes only BBC on-air talent to earn over £1million

Gary Lineker is the BBC’s highest-earning on-air talent for the fifth year running and the only name to earn more than £1million a year, according to new figures.

The 61-year-old pundit and former footballer was paid between £1,350,000 and £1,354,999 in 2021/2022 for work such as Match of the Day and Sports Personality of the Year – a £10,000 cut from to the previous year.

Lineker initially topped the list for 2017/18 with a salary bracket of £1,750,000 to £1,759,999, and in 2020 it was announced he had taken a voluntary pay cut.

(PA graphics)

Zoe Ball remains the broadcaster’s second highest-paid talent, with a salary of £980,000 to £984,999, but figures show her salary falling for the second year in a row.

Her salary has now fallen below £1m and reflects around 210 appearances on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on Radio 2.

Alan Shearer saw a year-on-year increase of £60,000, taking his salary to £450,000-£454,999, putting him third with Steve Wright, whose salary this year reflects a decrease of £15,000.

The company’s annual report for 2021/22, which also marks its centenary, shows that four of the 10 highest paid names have seen their salaries cut.

The only new addition to the top 10 is Greg James, whose salary has increased by £80,000.

The 36-year-old earns between £390,000 and £394,999 for his work, including the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, Rewinder on Radio 4, Radio 1’s Big Weekend and Out Out! Live, with Sports Personality of the Year also listed.

The Audio and Radio Industry Awards - London
Zoe Ball (Lia Toby/PA)

This year’s top 10 has fewer women than last year, dropping from four to three.

Lauren Laverne is not in this year’s top 10, with figures showing her salary dropping by £15,000 to between £380,000 and £384,999.

Other notable risers on the overall list of top on-air talent, as noted in the annual report, include Naga Munchetty with an increase of £110,000 and Amol Rajan with an increase of £85,000.

Victoria Derbyshire, meanwhile, saw a £70,000 raise.

Graham Norton is also absent from the list after leaving Radio 2 in December 2020 to start a show at Virgin Radio.

The BBC has seen a number of high profile on-air departures over the past year, with Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel, Andrew Marr and Dan Walker all leaving for rival broadcasters.

It comes after Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced earlier this year that BBC licensing fees would be frozen under inflation for the next two years.

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