Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis jokes about gender pay gap as speculation grows she could quit BBC

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Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis made a scathing joke about the BBC’s gender pay gap at a tech industry dinner after it was revealed she earns vastly less than her male co-host.

Ms Maitlis, who did not make the corporation’s list of £150,000-plus earners, was speaking at a TechUK dinner when she reportedly quipped: “You’re an industry doing so well, soon you’ll be able to afford a BBC man…”

It came after the BBC’s 96 highest earners were revealed, with Ms Maitlis’ co-presenter on Newsnight Evan Davis taking home between £250,000 and £299,999.

It sparked speculation Maitlis may quit the BBC over her pay.


The BBC labelled Emily Maitlis as one of the ‘brightest stars in British journalism’ (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Veu)

Alex Armitage, her agent, tweeted that her exclusion from the pay list was “beyond madness and being dealt with”.

She is currently off-air after her contract came to an end and a new deal has not been signed.

A BBC insider told the Sun: “Emily had showdown talks with Newsnight boss Ian Katz ahead of the publication of the salaries.

“They made her an offer and she did not accept it. As it stands, her future hangs in the balance.

“Emily is totally furious as she feels like she has been lied to. For her not to be on the list is unbelievable.”

The paper reports that a number of female stars were offered pay rises ahead of yesterday’s release in a bid to pre-empt anger over the gender gap. Radio 4’s Sarah Montague was reportedly among them.


The BBC’s highest paid male star is Chris Evans on between £2.2 million and £2.249,999. Claudia Winkleman is on £450,000 to £499,999 (Getty/Dave Bennett)

Chris Evans was the BBC’s highest earner on between £2.2 million and £2,249,999 last year, which included his stint on Top Gear as well as Radio 2.

Claudia Winkleman, of Strictly Come Dancing, was the highest-paid woman on £450,000 to £499,999. Seven men received more money than her.

A BBC spokesman told the Standard: “Emily is one of the brightest stars in British journalism. Emily has been off rota for several weeks now while we negotiate a new contract and we hope to reach an agreement soon.”

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