Although you might think that £610,000 is a lot of money, it's a lot less money than what they pay people in ITV.
That's Graham Norton's defence for pulling in that amount for hosting his BBC Radio 2 show, making him one of the top earners in the BBC per the annual Top 20 earner's list published this week. Speaking to the Radio Times, Norton blasted the system of publishing salaries, saying it's done by MPs who dislike the BBC.
"That’s what’s odd about this situation, for the top 20 of us at the BBC. For some reason, MPs want to know what people at the BBC earn. If they could get ITV to tell them what Phillip Schofield gets, they’d love to know," Norton claims.
He goes on, adding that the pay disparity between ITV and BBC is huge. Is he right? Well, yes.
Simon Cowell, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly made approximately £8 million from their various TV projects, while Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby are understood to be taking home £1.7 million per year. Graham Norton, meanwhile, is believed to take home approximately £2 million from hosting 'The Graham Norton Show'.
However, since 'The Graham Norton Show' is made by an outside production company, the figures are not made public like the Top 20 earner's list that's published annually by the BBC.
All that said, however, Norton admits that he can't justify how much money he's paid. "It’s made me far more wealthy than I ever thought I’d be or planned to be. All the people who say, ‘he earns that, he doesn’t deserve that’, they’re absolutely right. You cannot justify my wages, so I don’t try."
That's some good, healthy Irish shame right there. You'd know he was one of us.