BBC Rich List 2023: £72 million bill for BBC bigwigs

Embargoed: 00:01 Sunday 16th July 2023


  • BBC stars and executives are both receiving mega-salaries, with senior executives costing £36.3 million in 2022/23 and on-air talent costing a total of £36 million

  • Analysis shows the median salary of a BBC employee is 78 per cent higher than the median salary across the UK.

  • The huge cost of BBC salaries is deeply unfair on pensioners and hard-pressed taxpayers, who are fed up of being forced to pay the licence fee. 


Research from the TaxPayers' Alliance has revealed the cost of the top paid BBC executives is running into the tens of millions, alongside the staggering salaries paid to BBC stars. 

The total bill for senior BBC staff is estimated at £72.4 million, with £36.1 million being paid to on-air talent, and £36.3 million paid to backroom bosses. This includes 133 named figures who receive over £178,000. A total of 435 staff at the BBC, including backroom bosses and on-air talent, earn over £100,000.

The news comes as ministers consider whether to increase the licence fee, with reports that they are considering raising it from £159 to £171.

Median earnings at the BBC were £49,305 last year - 78 per cent higher than median earnings across the UK (£27,716). 


See the full dataset here


Key findings:

  • Senior on-air talent and backroom staff at the BBC earned a total of £72.4 million in 2022/23

  • The 220 backroom staff earning over £100,000 cost a total of £36.3 million and were paid on average £156,818 each. The 215 senior on-air talent earning over £100,000 cost £36.1 million and were paid an average of £167,716 each

  • The BBC is required to name the individuals who received £178,000 from the licence fee, with 133 individuals, including on-air talent and backroom bosses, earning this amount, a total of £34 million

  • The highest earning executive in 2022/23 was Tim Davie, who earned £527,500. The highest earning on air talent was Gary Lineker, who earned £1,352,500

  • £27,825,000 was spent on severance packages, with 124 staff receiving “golden goodbyes” worth over £100,000, a total cost of £16,583,000 for these six-figure payouts


See the full dataset here


John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Hard-pressed households resent being forced to cough up for these princely pay packets. 

“With Brits grappling with a cost of living crisis and the BBC lurching from one crisis to another, these superstar salaries are impossible to justify.

“Ministers should axe the hated TV tax and let people choose for themselves if they want to pay for Auntie.”


TPA spokespeople are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)


Media contact:

Conor Holohan
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
[email protected]
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)


Notes to editors:

  1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) campaigns to reform taxes and public services, cut waste and speak up for British taxpayers. Find out more at

  2. TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.



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