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The BBC today faced the threat of legal action from female stars after it emerged that the top-paid male star raked in more than four times the salary of the highest-earning woman.

Evans tops the list of highest paid network stars - ahead of Gary Lineker in second place with $1.67 million to $2.35 million and Graham Norton, who earned $1.1 million to $1.2 million.

Unsurprisingly, the pay gap in the vast majority of industries is skewed towards men, however, there are numerous areas in which female workers earn more than male workers.

She told BBC Radio 5 live Daily host Adrian Chiles, who is on the list, earning between £150,000 to £199,999: "This story is a disgrace, not because of figures but the fact that it's ever been published".

Many soap stars also made the list with Casualty and EastEnders dominating the highest-earning actors.

Lawyers have warned that the BBC could be open to discrimination lawsuits brought by its female employees. "If we are to give the public what they want, then we have to pay for those great presenters and stars. That's why we always try to pay people at a discount to the market".

ITN news presenter Charlene White also highlighted the lack of diversity, writing on Twitter: "While headlines justifiably concentrate on gender pay gap, let's not forget the other HUGE gaps in pay".

Other male/female divides of note include that of sporting presenters Gary Lineker and Clare Balding, with Lineker getting around £1.75m for that thing about football that's probably still on; a stark contrast to Clare Balding and her top rate of just (ahem) £200,000 for presenting the coverage of all the other sports.

CHRIS EVANS has agreed he gets paid too much as the BBC today revealed that the Radio 2 DJ is its highest earner.

BBC Director General Lord Hall said he wanted to close the gender pay gap and have equality on screen and radio by 2020, saying that over the last three years almost two-thirds of new people and those promoted on TV and radio were women.

"We've set a clear target for 2020: we want all our lead and presenting roles to be equally divided between men and women", he added.

Cat Lewis, chief executive of Nine Lives Media, a production company which makes programmes for the BBC, believes revealing presenters' salaries could damage the corporation. And it's already having an impact.

His comments came as the BBC published for the first time the pay of stars earning £150,000 and more.

"The BBC is hugely proud of our content and shows - and of those who make and appear on them".

Earlier, BBC Director-General Lord Hall defended the former Top Gear presenter's pay at a press conference to reveal the figures this morning. "It's going to change the market for talent in this country".

Whilst I understand the need to be transparent with licence payers money, I don't think this is going to help the BBC.


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