BBC slashes top salaries after Top Gear departures
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The BBC has cut the amount it pays its top talent by £8 million (NZ$ following a departure of some of its biggest names, including Jeremy Clarkson.
The director general Lord Tony Hall revealed that the broadcaster has reduced pay for talent earning more than £500,000 each by £5 million, or 25%.
Clarkson departed the corporation last year after punching a producer on Top Gear over a dispute about food. He was quickly followed by his co-stars Richard Hammond and James May.
The BBC have come under fire in the past few years for the amount it pays to its 'top talent', which includes Match of the Day presenter Gary Linekar and chatshow host Graham Norton.
The old Top Gear presenting trio of Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May.
Lord Hall made the remarks at a meeting of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the British parliament last night.
He said: 'We will be revealing in the annual report that we have reduced the total amount of spending on talent by £8 million overall, on an apples for apples basis, roughly 4% between 2015/16 and 2014/15.
'This is really important. We have reduced the top pay of talent over £500,000 by £5 million - 25%.
'We absolutely get this is an important issue for the public to be aware of how we spend our money.'
He added: 'We were concerned that if we began to publish names it becomes a poachers' charter and left us open to people nicking them from the BBC, but it is right that people such as myself who work for the BBC should have their pay out there for scrutiny.'
Lord Hall said the BBC had not yet come to any conclusion about what the Brexit vote would mean for the broadcaster.
James Purnell, the BBC's director of strategy and digital - who appeared alongside the director general before the committee, said there had been discussions of contingency plans ahead of the vote about commercial implications for sales and distribution.
He said: 'Once we know what the relationship (with the EU) will be, we will go through the areas that will effect us - like protection against rights infringement. There are lots of dominoes to fall until we get to that stage.'