Words Claudia Jackson | Subbing: Tracey Popoola
One Show presenter Alex Jones has revealed that co-host Matt Baker gets paid up to £50,000 more than her annually.
After sitting next to each other for over six years on the evening show, the topic of pay never came up. She told the Mirror: “Matt and I never discussed wages, but I assumed we got the same.”
The news of this difference in pay became apparent to Jones just two months after she returned to the One Show couch after her maternity leave for her first son, Teddy.
Since the BBC’s top earners list was released earlier this year, Jones is not the only female presenter at the BBC that was left feeling underappreciated and underpaid.
Clare Balding, Victoria Derbyshire and Angela Rippon are among the 40 women who wrote a letter to Director-General, Tony Hall, in July demanding that he takes action in closing the pay gap between men and women at the BBC.
Balding also stated this year that the BBC should not treat women like ‘discount items’, adding that the pay disparity, that is more than 10%, needs to end now.
Balding is also among the celebrities drawing attention the the Equal Pay Day campaign, helping to highlight new research that suggests that the current pay gap would take 100 years to fully close.
With this in mind, its no shock that the gap is so big, with the highest-paid female, Claudia Winkleman earning between £450,000 and £500,000 for the same time period that highest-paid male, Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans was paid between £2.2m and £2.5m.
On the topic of the pay gap between her and Baker, Jones told the Mirror that she was: “quite shocked”, adding “I guess everybody was.”
Despite this shock, it is unclear whether she plans to take action. Several other prominent female BBC presenters seem keen to end the discrimination they face in regards to pay, but Jones has yet to comment on if she intends to do the same.
If the presenter and now mother decides to petition the difference in pay, she will have a long fight ahead of her; Lord Hall told BBC Radio 4 earlier this year that he would commit to equal pay by 2020, going on to add that “if we can get there earlier then we will.”