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Graham Norton, Jeremy Paxman among BBC stars who took pay cuts?

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The BBC will announce next week that the amount it pays its highest-earning on-screen talent has dropped, it has been claimed.

A report in The Guardian says that the corporation will announce that the bill for its "top talent" - broadcasters who earn over £1 million a year - has dropped to £9.2 million from £14.6 million in the financial year 2010-2011.

Graham Norton show guests TX May 18, 2012: Will Smith, Gary Barlow and Sir Tom Jones

© PA Images / Sean Dempsey/PA Wire


[Graham Norton pictured with guests Will Smith, Gary Barlow and Sir Tom Jones on his chatshow]

Although the report will not name individuals, Graham Norton is among the stars believed to have accepted a pay cut, in addition to Newsnight and University Challenge presenter Jeremy Paxman.

Norton, who previously took a pay cut in 2009, said last year that he was open to reducing his salary again.

He argued that there should be "no special cases" at the BBC and that cutbacks at the corporation were "across the board, which is how it should be".

Norton's salary was believed to have been in the region of £2 million, while it is thought that Paxman's salary has dropped below £1 million.

Jeremy Paxman

© BBC

Alan Hansen

© BBC



The BBC is expected to confirm that it spent £202 million paying on-screen talent in the last financial year. However, it is believed that the majority of this figure consists of a standard £150 fee paid to experts appearing on the BBC's news output.

It is believed that less than ten individuals were paid more than £1 million from the licence fee during the financial year 2011-12.

It is also understood that 15 people were paid over £500,000 - a drop from 19 individuals last year.

It was reported earlier this year that Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen would be asked to take a pay cut in new contract negotiations.

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