The Internet Is Divided About Zoe Ball Asking The BBC For A Pay Cut After Feeling ‘Uncomfortable’ With Her £1.3Million Salary

The Radio Two host being the highest earning host was the first year a woman topped their annual report.

Zoe Ball

by Georgia Aspinall |

Zoe Ball has asked for a pay cut from the BBC after her £1.36million salary was made public when the BBC published their annual report last week. According to reports, the star feels ‘uncomfortable’ being paid so much in the current climate.

‘Zoe was given a very big pay rise when she took on the job because the gender pay row at the BBC was raging and she was replacing a man on a big wage in a high-profile job,’ a source at the BBC reportedly told The Sun. ‘She has always been thankful for the wage she earns, and she does work very hard, getting up at 4am daily and putting in long hours. But in the current climate, and during a pandemic, she has felt increasingly uncomfortable about how much she earns so has requested that it is reduced.’

Ball’s pay rise came when she took over BBC Radio Two’s Breakfast Show from Chris Evans whose £1.6million salary came under scrutiny when it was reported in 2018. In fact, the BBC annual report on their hosts salary and backlash typically go hand-in-hand. Seeing the likes of Gary Lineker earn £1.7million (now £1.3million after he too requested a pay cut) while the corporation lays off 520 staff members in the middle of a pandemic is a bitter pill to swallow. When the average salary in the UK is £27,600, you can see why.

So was it guilt then, that made Zoe request a pay cut? Earning more than 36times the average Joe, at a time when the number of people claiming unemployment benefit has risen by 120% and millions of people on furlough are in fear of redundancy, may do that to you. Or, given that Zoe is a high-profile woman at a corporation plagued with gender pay gap complaints, is imposter syndrome getting to her?

In the court of public opinion, it seems to be a mix of both. As Zoe’s name trends on Twitter, you’ll see countless people praising her for the decision under the circumstances, pointing to how money should be better managed at the BBC and in general, someone with her job description shouldn’t be paid so much more than others. But then you’ll also see people disappointed that, just as a woman became the highest earning host at the corporation, she felt so undeserving of the same salary a man took unashamedly for years prior.

‘The year that a woman becomes the BBC's top earner, Zoe Ball is shamed into asking for a pay cut,’ one social media user commented. ‘You canny win can you?’

Whatever you think of her decision, it’s clear Zoe would rather see money within the BBC go to other pursuits – hopefully it will go towards all those pay discrepancies that keep the BBC’s gender pay gap issues in the press routinely.

Read More:

The Treatment of Naga Munchetty Tells You Everything You Need To Know About Racism In The UK Right Now

Samira Ahmed Wins Landmark Case Against The BBC After She Was Paid 85% Less Than Her 'Male Equivalent'

Meet The Women Waging War On The Pay Gap

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us