My daughter is outraged that I earn so much for 'doing nothing', says Radio 4 presenter Justin Webb 

  • BBC Radio 4 presenter Justin Webb told off by his daughter Martha, 16
  • When she found out his earnings she told him 'but you don't do anything' 
  • He is reported to earn more than the Prime Minister's £143,462 salary 

For BBC Radio 4 presenter Justin Webb, however, the suggestion elicited a blunt response from his 16-year-old daughter Martha, who said: ‘But you don’t do anything.’

Many parents would expect a bit of respect from their teenage children at the idea that they earn more than the Prime Minister.

For BBC Radio 4 presenter Justin Webb, however, the suggestion elicited a blunt response from his 16-year-old daughter Martha, who said: ‘But you don’t do anything.’

The Today host, 55, revealed that her dressing down over his salary, reported to be more than David Cameron’s £143,462 a year, came after he picked her up from school.

He said: ‘My daughter is outraged at the suggestion that I might earn more than the Prime Minister.

‘She has read my name on a list on the internet and is quizzing me on the way home. She declared: “But you don’t do anything” and, after his protestations that he does need to wake rather early to be on air by 6am, added: “But you just read things out. Literally, Daddy, you read for a living. And you pick me up every day”.’

His revelation in Radio Times comes amid outrage over BBC salaries, with critics questioning if the licence fee should be used to pay six or seven-figure sums to media stars.

However, Webb, who is also father to Martha’s twin Sam and Clara, 12, admitted he agrees with her that news broadcasters can be overpaid.

This, he added, can mean they become worse at their jobs by living in an affluent ‘bubble’. Webb said: ‘Those of us who are decently paid already live in another world from millions who struggle to get by.’

His comments come shortly after a White Paper on the future of the BBC revealed that the Corporation will have to reveal the salaries of staff on more than £450,000 a year.

While Webb is believed to be below this benchmark, he said the issue of pay for news broadcasters is a particularly pressing problem at the BBC ‘since the salaries come straight from licence payers’.

The BBC’s top earners include Chris Evans on £1.6million, Gary Lineker on £1.8million and Graham Norton on £1.3million.

Webb’s Today co-host John Humphrys is paid £375,000 although this also covers his work on Mastermind. At least 42 of the Corporation’s TV stars are paid more than Mr Cameron, according to website Heat Street. 

His revelation in Radio Times comes amid outrage over BBC salaries, with critics questioning if the licence fee should be used to pay six or seven-figure sums to media stars

His revelation in Radio Times comes amid outrage over BBC salaries, with critics questioning if the licence fee should be used to pay six or seven-figure sums to media stars

At least 42 of its TV stars are paid more than David Cameron, according to news website Heat Street, with others including Eddie Mair, Andrew Neil, Martha Kearney, Sophie Raworth, Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.

However, while presenter’s pay packets will be exposed, the corporation’s top actors will be able to keep their remuneration secret thanks to a loophole.

Night Manager stars such as Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie are among those who appeared on BBC screens but because their dramas were made by independent companies rather than directly by the BBC, they will not have to disclose their pay, even if it breaches the £450,000 threshold set by ministers.

Mr Webb said the issue of pay for news broadcasters is a particularly pressing problem at the BBC ‘since the salaries come straight from licence payers’.

He added: ‘That is – literally and metaphorically – a matter to be decided above my pay grade. But perhaps it’s more important that all news broadcasters – on commercial stations as well – should be paid in a manner that keeps them on the side of the people’. 

The former BBC North American Editor said this is why the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the US came as such a surprise to media politicos, adding: ‘For all the American obsession with classlessness, the big money at the top of journalism has cut off the commentariat from the rest of society’.

He took a particular swipe at Robert Peston, who was reportedly poached from the BBC to ITV with the promise of a £750,000 salary, joking that the American stars were paid ‘even’ more than his former colleague.  

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