STATE-OWNED Channel 4’s director of programmes Kevin Lygo was paid five times more than Prime Minister Gordon Brown last year.
The former comedy scriptwriter was the highest paid public sector worker, receiving £1.1m in the 2008/2009 financial year, compared to Brown, who earned just over £193,000. Lygo’s package was made up of a salary of £773,000 and £362,000 in benefits and bonuses.
But Lygo still takes home considerably less than he would as chief executive of commercial broadcaster ITV, a role he is said to be in the running for. Former frontrunner Tony Ball was asking for a five-year package worth £25m.
C4 chairman Luke Johnson defended Lygo’s pay, saying it included a long-term incentive plan covering several years that was payable in the period, and that Lygo had offered to take a pay-cut.
Last night Johnson told ITV’s Tonight programme: “We believe that we need the best people and we have to compete against the likes of ITV and Sky who offer people options, they offer people significantly more money and in truth you know we pay the market rate because otherwise I don’t think we would get the best.”