Senior MP calls for end to BBC salary disclosure loophole

Posted On: 
26th August 2017

The chair of the Culture select committee has called for the BBC to end an "unacceptable" loophole that allows some stars to keep their salaries hidden.

BBC Broadcasting House in central London

Several well-known celebritie were not included in the recent list of highly paid BBC staff because the programmes they appear on are made by external production companies.

From next year stars such as the host of Strictly Come Dancing, Claudia Winkleman, will not be included in the list because their shows will be produced by BBC Studios, a separate commercial body.

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“What would be unacceptable is if next year, BBC Studios turned round and said all these people [who] are being paid on Strictly, we are now not going to disclose their salaries because we are now an indie [independent company] and we don’t have to,” committee chair Damian Collins told an audience at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

But a spokesman for the corporation issued a robust response, pointing out that the new entity is not publicly funded. 

"BBC Studios is a fully commercial business and not underpinned by public money. Equally independent production companies are private businesses. We are buying programmes from them, not talent.

“Programmes can be funded from multiple sources and the BBC is often only one of many investors. The decision on what’s paid to the talent rests with the independent producers, not the BBC. All this was agreed as part of the BBC Royal Charter, which exists for the next 11 years.”