Government set to make BBC reveal pay packets of stars on more than £150k

Francesca Washtell
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The new rule will likely affect the BBC's top newsreading talent (Source: Getty)

The next BBC royal charter will force the organisation to divulge the names of more than 100 of its stars who are paid more than £150,000 a year.

The charter, which is due to be published on Thursday, is understood to slash the level at which the BBC must disclose the pay of its leading "talent", the Telegraph reported.

If the pay-level is lowered, this could force the corporation to make public the salaries of news presenters such as Laura Kuenssberg, Nick Robinson and Sophie Raworth.

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In May, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's (DCMS) white paper on the next royal charter suggested talent earning £450,000 or more should have their salaries published - affecting stars such as Claudia Winkleman, Gary Lineker and Graham Norton.

However, last month the DCMS select committee suggested this threshold should be lowered to £143,000 - slightly below the £143,462 earned by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Culture secretary Karen Bradley has renegotiated a former deal to keep salaries under £450,000 under wraps in return for the government agreeing to relinquish the right to appoint the majority of non-executive directors on its new governing board, the Telegraph reported.

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BBC executives have argued it would not be in the interest of licence fee payers to know how much its biggest stars are paid.

Last month, BBC One controller Charlotte Moore said this would inevitably drive fees up because all talent would want to be paid the top amount.