Gary Lineker volunteers to have his £1.75m BBC pay packet cut after backlash

Harriet Brewis

Gary Lineker has reportedly agreed to have his BBC salary slashed following a backlash over high salaries at the corporation.

The Match of the Day host is the broadcaster’s highest-paid presenter, earning £1.75million, but he claims to be in talks with bosses to have his wages cut.

The former England striker told The Mirror: “I love my job at the BBC and I enjoy doing it.

"I’m currently negotiating a new contract with them and I’m ­volunteering to take less.”

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The move follows public furore over the axing of free TV licences for over-75s, and continuing disputes over the BBC’s gender pay gap.

Director-general Lord Tony Hall has defended its “big stars’” salaries, highlighting the importance of keeping hold of “talented and entertaining” contributors.

Linkeker’s alleged decision to take a voluntary pay cut comes after Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans agreed to drop his salary from £2.2million in 2017 to £1.25million – before quitting BBC Radio 2 for Virgin Radio.

The former footballer, famous for as the face of Walker’s crisps adverts, is believed to have a personal fortune of around £30million.