Veteran TV presenter Terry Wogan has joined in the debate over the salaries paid to BBC stars – saying their pay packets are “far too high”.

Speaking in an interview with the Mail on Sunday’s Live magazine, the 71-year-old suggested the highest earners could take a pay cut of up to 15 per cent.

“The good old days have passed,” he said. You have to be responsible. The audience would be unhappy if they thought you were being overpaid.

“If they’re going to start cutting working people’s wages, you can’t say you’re in a privileged position because you work in television.

“Frankly, salaries were far too high. They could stand to take a 10 to 15% cut. If the public sector is taking that, I see no reason why everybody shouldn’t.”

Wogan added that he took a pay cut, saying, “People are worried where their hard-earned money is going, and the BBC is a visible target.”

The BBC has faced criticism recently for the amount it pays senior executives and its presenters.

According to figures released earlier this year, the corporation spends £54m on its top-earning stars, thought to include the likes of Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton, Fiona Bruce and Jeremy Paxman.