BBC Director General Mark Thompson has given his support for publishing BBC stars’ earnings “in pay bands”.

Speaking on Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 the corporation chief backed calls made by the BBC Trust earlier in the week for salaries to be revealed, but added that disclosing individual star pay packets would be “wrong”.

“We absolutely accept the idea of publishing in bands,” Thompson said.

“The BBC is trying to find the right balance between the public’s absolute right to have a sense of what the BBC spends on on-air talent, and a broadcasting industry where confidentiality is the absolute norm, is the expectation and in some cases the contractual right of the individuals involved.”

I continue to believe that it would be wrong and it would be damaging and destructive to the BBC and its ability to get the top stars to actually publish individual salaries,” he added.

“We’re in competition with other broadcasters in an industry where no other broadcaster publishes this sort of information.”

The BBC has come in for criticism recently for the salaries paid to some of its biggest names, including Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton.