Northern Ireland news

Stephen Nolan takes a pay drop but annual salary still tops almost £330,000

BBC presenter Stephen Nolan
Mairead Holland

PRESENTER Stephen Nolan has failed to make it into the list of the BBC's top 10 highest earners - but still took home a salary of up to almost £330,000 in the past year.

The TV and radio presenter is one of two people working for BBC NI to have their salaries disclosed in the corporation's annual report.

Nolan, who presents the weekday Nolan Show on Radio Ulster among other programmes, earned between £325,000 and £329,999 in 2018/2019.

This is a fall of around £75,000 from the previous year. It is believed this is because he presented fewer radio and TV programmes during this time.

The other top-earning employee is BBC NI director Peter Johnston who earned between £175,000 and £179,999 in 2018/2019, a rise from the previous year when he earned between £150,000 and £159,999.

"Stephen is extremely popular with our audiences and is a multi-award winning presenter. According to the latest RAJAR figures his BBC Radio Ulster programme remains the most listened to in Northern Ireland," a spokesman for BBC NI said.

The report outlines that in 2018/2019, Nolan presented 210 editions of his Radio Ulster programme, 10 editions of Nolan Live on BBC 1 NI and 20 programmes for Radio 5 Live.

Details of his earnings through programmes commissioned for the BBC from his independent production company are not included in the figure.

In the past, Nolan has refused to reveal how much he had earned for these programmes.

Under the terms of the BBC's charter it has to publish the details of those who earn more than £150,000 a year from the licence fee.

The highest earner is Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker who pockets £1.75m per year.

The publication of the figures comes amid widespread criticism over the BBC's decision to restrict free licence fees for the over-75s to those who claim Pension Credit.

Meanwhile, Tony Hall, director-general, said the BBC is holding its own against the big streaming giants, with 91 per cent of UK adults using its services each week.

He said the corporation had also turned the corner on gender pay with the projection for 2019/20 now 55:45 in terms of men to women.

In a breakdown of the BBC in Northern Ireland, the annual report revealed that the fifth series of Line of Duty made its return to screens in March this year, with the first episode attracting an average audience of 13.2 million (after 28 days), making it one of the year’s most popular programmes.

BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle remains the most listened to station in Northern Ireland, with an average weekly reach in the last quarter of 2018 of just under 35 per cent of the adult population.

Meanwhile, 80 per cent of adults in Northern Ireland watch BBC TV each week (down one per cent from the previous year) and 60 per cent listen to BBC radio each week (down two per cent from the previous year).

Top earners for 2018/19

1. Gary Lineker: £1,750,000 - £1,754,999

2. Chris Evans: £1,250,000 - £1,254,999

3. Graham Norton: £610,000 - £614,999

4. Huw Edwards: £490,000 - £494,999

5. Steve Wright: £465,000 - £469,999

6. Alan Shearer: £440,000 - £444,999

7. Andrew Marr: £390,000 - £394,999

8. Zoe Ball: £370,000 - £374,999

= Claudia Winkleman: £370,000 - £374,999

10. Vanessa Feltz: £355,000 - £359,999

= Jason Mohammad: £355,000 - £359,999

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