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Chris Evans earns nine times as much as the Lord Chief Justice

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The BBC reveals how much it pays its top talent — but how does this stack up against our most senior judges?

A new BBC pay report has revealed that radio and TV star Chris Evans earns almost nine times as much as the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

The salary stats, released earlier today, show the Radio 2 DJ and former Top Gear presenter pockets annual earnings of between £2.2 and £2.25 million, making him the highest earner at the Beeb.

The report — which includes a host of other BBC celeb salaries — got Legal Cheek thinking. How do these pay packets stack up against those of the UK’s top judges?

Well, according to the latest judicial earnings figures published by the Ministry of Justice, our Lord Chief Justice (Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd) earns £252,079 a year. This means that despite being the highest paid judge in the country, Lord Thomas — due to step down later this year — trousers about £2 million less than Evans.

Elsewhere, the BBC’s fresh figures reveal that Match of the Day pundit Gary Lineker earns a whopping £1.75 – £1.8 million per annum. To provide some judicial context, Lineker’s salary is close to eight times that of Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger, who pockets £225,091. It’s worth noting that the Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, is also on the same level of remuneration as Neuberger.

And how does the BBC’s top earning female compare to the judiciary’s? Claudia Winkleman, radio personality and Strictly Come Dancing presenter, takes home around £500,000 a year, according to the report. Meanwhile Lady Hale, the deputy president of the Supreme Court who is tipped to become president when Neuberger retires, pockets less than half of that (£217,409).

Other big earners at the BBC include radio host Jeremy Vine (£700,000 – £749,999), Mastermind presenter John Humphrys (£600,000 – £649,999) and news anchor Huw Edwards (£550,000 – £599,999). Again by way of comparison, a district judge takes home £108,171.

Interestingly, the report also lifts the lid on what the BBC’s in-house lawyers earn. Sarah Jones, the broadcaster’s general counsel, earns between £200,000 and £249,999, while head of legal Peter Farrell is paid between £150,000 and £199,999.

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