Stephen Nolan is highest earner in BBC NI

Stephen Nolan is among the top 10 highest earners in the BBC. Picture by Hugh Russell
Stephen Nolan is among the top 10 highest earners in the BBC. Picture by Hugh Russell Stephen Nolan is among the top 10 highest earners in the BBC. Picture by Hugh Russell

The BBC has revealed its highest earning employees - with broadcaster Stephen Nolan topping the list in BBC NI.

Nolan receives a salary of between £400,000 and £499,999 a year, the BBC has revealed. It places him in the top 10 highest earners in the whole of the BBC.

He also earns the same as BBC Director General Tony Hall.

The corporation has released the names and salaries of 96 employees who earn more than £150,000 annually and a third of those are women.

Stephen Nolan presents his BBC Radio Ulster show The Nolan Show Monday to Friday and hosts a BBC 5 live show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights as well as and Question Time: Extra Time on Thursday evenings. He also fronts the TV programme, Nolan Live, on BBC One Northern Ireland.

DJ Chris Evans topping the overall list, pocketing over £2 million a year. Only one third of the list of people earning over £150,000 are women, with the top names being men.

Graham Norton earns between £850,000 and £899,999 - but as the list only includes cash from licence fee payers, that does not include his chat show, for which the BBC pays an independent production company, which in turn pays his salary.

Stars of Casualty and EastEnders dominate the highest earning list of actors.

Long-running Casualty star Derek Thompson, who is originally from Northern Ireland and plays Charlie Fairhead in the medical drama, earns between £350,000 and £399,000.

Co-star Amanda Mealing, who plays Connie Beauchamp in Casualty and Holby City, is in the £250,000 to £299,999 bracket.

Details of stars' pay was revealed in £50,000 bands and journalists, actors and broadcasters have responded to the BBC report.

Andrew Marr said in a statement: "Following the publication of the BBC's annual report, I can confirm that I'm paid £400,475 a year. It covers the weekly Sunday morning show, my radio work, documentary commissions, television obituaries, and work on big news events such as elections and the both the Scottish and UK referenda coverage.

"It's less, of course, than the £600,000 I was widely reported to be earning a couple of years ago; or indeed the £3 million a year Daily Telegraph claimed I was paid. As the BBC moves to deal with highly paid employees, my salary has been coming down. I now earn £139,000 a year less than I did two years ago.

"In the past I have been offered deals by the BBC's commercial rivals at a higher rate than the corporation would pay."

In Brief:

Here is a breakdown of the 96 names of on-air talent by gender who earned more than £150,00:

  • 62 are male and 34 female.
  • There are no females listed in any category above £500,000.
  • The highest paid female is Strictly Come Dancing co-host Claudia Winkleman, who is in the £450,000-£499,999 band.
  • One woman is listed in the £400,000-£449,999 band (Alex Jones) and three are listed in the £350,000-£399,999 band (Fiona Bruce, Tess Daly and Vanessa Feltz).
  • Half of all the women named on the list are in the £150,000-£199,999 band. A total of 17 women appear in this band, along with 22 men.
  • Of the 34 females named on the list, five are non-white: Today presenter Mishal Husain, EastEnders actors Tameka Empson and Diane Parish, newsreader Moira Stuart, and Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty.

Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright is the highest earner on the radio, taking home between £500,000 and £549,999 a year.

Broadcaster Jeremy Vine is in the £700,000 to £749,999 bracket.

There could be embarrassment for the presenters of flagship Radio 4 programme, Today.

John Humphrys earns between £600,000 and £649,000, for the morning news programme and other work, including presenting Mastermind.

Nick Robinson is on £250,000 to £299,000, ahead of female presenter Mishal Husain (£200,000 to £249,000), who also presents TV news for the corporation, but their colleague Sarah Montague does not make the £150,000 pay bracket.

The list reveals that newsreader and Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce earns between £350,000 and £399,000 but fellow news host Huw Edwards is on £550,000 to £599,999.

The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg is on £200,000 to £249,000, below news presenter George Alagiah (£250,000-£299,000) and Radio 4's PM host Eddie Mair (£300,000 - £349,000).

News host Sophie Raworth is on £150,000 to £199,000.

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty is in the £150,000 to £199,999 bracket, and her colleague on the show Dan Walker, who also works on Football Focus and fronted slots from the Rio Olympics, took home between £200,000 and £249,000.

Their fellow BBC Breakfast presenters Louise Minchin and Charlie Stayt do not make the £150,000 bracket.


In sport, Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker is paid in the £1,750,000 to £1,799,999 bracket. He had earlier revealed that he had turned down higher pay offers from commercial broadcasters.

Writing on Twitter, the former England striker said he had stuck with the Beeb "Because I love and value my job and BBC sport."

But Wimbledon's Sue Barker earns between £300,000 and £349,999, behind Alan Shearer (£400,000 and £449,999).

Clare Balding is paid between £150,000 to £199,999, putting her in the same list as Jonathan Agnew, Jonathan Davies and John McEnroe.

Presenters John Inverdale and Gabby Logan are on between £200,000 and £249,000.


Radio 2 Breakfast DJ and former Top Gear host Chris Evans earns between £2.2 million and £2,249,999.

Strictly Come Dancing host and Radio 2 DJ Claudia Winkleman earns between £450,000 and £499,000.

Strictly judge Darcey Bussell earns between £150,000 and £199,999, putting her in the same band as Craig Revel Horwood.

But Bruno Toniolo, who also worked on Eurovision: You Decide, and former head judge Len Goodman earn more at £200,000 to £249,999.

Adam Woodyatt, Albert Square's Ian Beale, is one of the top paying EastEnders actors at £200,000 to £249,000, along with newer recruit Danny Dyer (Mick Carter).

June Brown - EastEnders' Dot Cotton - is not on the list.

Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi was paid between £200,000 to £249,0000.

Top Gear's Matt LeBlanc is not on the list but it has not been disclosed whether he is paid £150,000 or more but from BBC Worldwide.

Names like Mary Berry are not on the list because she would have been paid by an independent production company, which the BBC paid.

The figures are for the money stars received from the licence fee from the financial year April 2016 to April 2017.