Lineker: I can’t justify salary over a real job such as nurse
MATCH of the Day star Gary Lineker has admitted he “can’t justify” his BBC salary in comparison to real jobs, as he urged firms to close the gender pay gap.
In 2017 it was revealed Lineker rakes in up to £1.79million a year as the Beeb’s best paid TV host.
Asked if it bothered him viewers knowing his pay, he said: “I don’t mind. If you are in the entertainment business, music or play sport or are an actor, if you are in that world and you are at the top, you will be remunerated very well. That is how it works.
“Am I going to sit here and try to justify my salary over someone that does a real job like a nurse? No. But that is how it is.
“I’ve done well in my business. I’m the only football broadcaster that has had a career in football as well.”
Referring to female colleagues who are less well paid, he added: “People talk about the gender pay gap, I had no idea, no idea. Now I know what women earn I think they should be paid more, of course.
“And there should be better balances over every walk of life. It is not just the BBC, it’s everywhere. We want that to be levelled.”
Lineker, 57, also defended the decision to hold the World Cup in Russia despite the country having a history of homophobia and other issues.
He said: “I don’t think we can pick and choose on people’s ideologies. You could level a lot of those complaints at our country. Let’s not be too preachy.
“I think the World Cup will be great.
“It is always the same – all you ever look forward to is the negativity. Actually, it could bring so much good. The vast majority of Russians are decent people. I went there for the World Cup draw – they were so warm and so excited and so welcoming.
“There are mixed cultures and diversity, gay people, people of different colour. They are all coming into Russia at the same time and it might do a massive amount of good for that particular area.”
Lineker, who sees Spain as tournament favourites, was speaking as he prepared to fly out to Russia to host the BBC’s World Cup coverage next month.
On England’s chances, he said: “We’re going through a transitional stage. We’ve got a plethora of really top-class young talent but it is a bit early for them.
“If we won a knockout game… that would be seen as perfectly acceptable. If you said now we got to a quarter-final, I’d say that is very respectable.”
Gary Lineker hosts BBC1’s FA Cup Final coverage tomorrow from 4.10pm. World Cup starts on June 14. BALANCE Gary Lineker
Women should be paid more, we want that to be levelled
GARY LINEKER ON THE GENDER PAY GAP