Graham Norton has called for the salaries of top ITV stars to be made public - claiming Phillip Schofield’s pay cheque would shock many.
The chat show host and TV presenter - who was third in the BBC’s top 20 earners this year an estimated salary of £615,000 - has questioned why the government has only called for BBC salaries to be published.
Norton told the Radio Times: “That’s what’s odd about this situation, for the top 20 of us at the BBC. For some reason MPs want to know what famous people at the BBC earn.
Read more: Is Graham Norton the real top earner at BBC?
“If they could get ITV to tell them what Phillip Schofield gets, they’d love to know. Also, I have to say, what would really shock the public is to discover the disparity between ITV and BBC. People would go, ‘Wow!’”
For the last year the BBC has been ordered to publish the top 20 highest earners, as the network is funded by the public licence fee. Match of the Day host Gary Linekar is number one with a salary of £1.75 million, former Top Gear host Chris Evans was at number two and Radio 2 DJ and Strictly It Takes Two host Zoe Ball is the highest paid female at number eight with a salary of £370,000.
Norton, 56, defended the BBC salaries, pointing out the licence fee is not only spent on TV presenters.
The Irish comedian said: “You may hate me or Gary Lineker or Zoe Ball but that’s not just what the licence fee is paying for. It’s paying for this overall thing. And it’s not like I want to dob people in it, but you read that list and go, really?
“We all know there are people who earn a lot more than me and Gary.”
Ant and Dec are the highest earners on ITV, with the 43-year-old presenting dup thought to earn £5 million a year for their work on flagship shows I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Britain’s Got Talent and Saturday Night Takeaway.
According to published accounts Schofield, 53, earned £1.73million last year from work hosting This Morning, Dancing on Ice and game show 5 Gold Rings, as well as advertising deals.
His This Morning and Dancing On Ice co-star Holly Willoughby, 38, is expected to earn more than that after she filled in for Ant on last year’s I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!