On Wednesday 19 July 2017 the BBC disclosed the salaries of all employees who earn over £150,00 and the list included current Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi.
The list released by the BBC shows the salaries for stars in increments of £50k. Peter Capaldi is shown as having earned between £200k and £250k. If this seems like rather a lot/not much/spectacular value for money, depending on how you view these things, it surprised many to discover that the lead role in BBC’s Saturday night staple drama Casualty has a pay packet that dwarfs Capaldi’s. Both salaries were miniscule, meanwhile, in comparison with those of news stalwarts Jon Humphrys and Huw Edwards.
The most controversial revelation, however, was that women top earners are woefully under-represented in the list. BBC director general Lord Tony Hall admitted that a gender pay gap existed, with only a third of the biggest pay cheques going to women.
Some commenters have questioned whether the news of Jodie Whittaker’s casting as the Thirteenth Doctor was timed deliberately ahead of the release of salary information. Others have questioned whether Jodie Whittaker will receive an equal salary to that of Capaldi. We will wait and see.
Of course, these things are never always so simple. For example, David Tennant was paid much less than Christopher Eccleston when he took over the role of Doctor Who as he was much less well known at the time. Matt Smith was paid less again when he became the Eleventh Doctor.
What we have taken away from the BBC’s salary revelations is just how much value for money we get from the Beeb, especially when compared to commercial television. If one considers that Ant & Dec were paid a staggering £29.5million in 2016, Doctor Who looks like a bit of a bargain!