BBC stars ‘warned’ of possible pay cuts

Top BBC stars were called to a meeting on Monday where they were warned to expect wages for talent to be slashed, it has been disclosed.

Jeremy Clarkson and Sir Terry Wogan were reportedly among about 100 famous faces at Monday’s gathering with executives at Television Centre in London. said it was understood that those on screen or behind a microphone earning more than £100,000 a year faced a pay cut of 25 per cent when their contracts were renegotiated.

It reported that for some highly paid stars, the salary reduction could be as much as 40 per cent.

The meeting follows recent speculation that Jonathan Ross’s earnings were set to be cut if and when he signed a further deal with the corporation. Jonathan wasn’t thought to have been at the meeting.

The corporation’s director general Mark Thompson addressed the celebrities on a range of topics.

A BBC spokesman said: “No organisation is immune from the economic climate and we have to find substantial savings.

“Talent fees are not excluded from the economic pressures faced across the organisation and these will be reflected in our ongoing negotiations.

“This was an internal event as part of our ongoing dialogue with the artists and presenters who work for us.”

The BBC wouldn’t comment on individuals’ contracts, or what was discussed.

In an interview with the House magazine published last month, Mr Thompson said: “We will reduce the total amount we spend on top talent, and have already agreed some new contracts for less than we have paid in the past.”

Clarkson’s manager declined to comment and Wogan’s representatives weren’t immediately available for comment.

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