Carol Vorderman says she was paid three times as much as Countdown host Richard Whiteley.
The star, 57, doesn’t’ think she can ‘get involved’ when it comes to discussing and fighting for gender equal pay because, according to her, she was paid significantly more than her male counterpart.
The maths genius who appeared on the Channel 4 programme for over a quarter of a century told FM Today how she and the late Whiteley argued about the pay discrepancy.
‘OK, I’m going to give you an exclusive here now, I can’t get involved in that because the only heated debate Richard and I ever had was when he found out that I was being paid three times more than him.’
It’s estimated that the star was earning between £1-3 million during the peak of her Countdown fame.
She also claimed that the pay gap issue wasn’t always men versus women, but women pitting themselves against one another: ‘[It] is not necessarily men versus women, there’s a lot of women against women.
‘Trolling on Twitter – it’s not men having a go at women, it’s often women having a go at women, which I kind of think, “Where’s the sisterhood gone?”.
‘I’m glad it’s being discussed though, and it is out in the open now.’
Despite long-time presenter and friend Whiteley passing away in 2005, Vorderman eventually bowed out of the show three years later, in 2008, after a dispute over her pay. She was apparently told she’d have to take a 90% pay cut to reflect the show’s 30% budget cuts but refused to.
At the time, Vorderman voiced her displeasure about Channel 4’s proposal and treatment of her: ‘I am devastated that my joyous time with one of the best programmes on TV has ended this way.
‘I was happy to continue doing the numbers and letters for years to come. I wish all of my friends and colleagues every success in the future. I’ll miss them all.’
Now, Rachel Riley is the resident mathematician and Nick Hewer is its host.