Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who salary has been revealed and it’s six figures. For the first time the BBC have included the wages of their stars with the highest wage packages and it turns out the outgoing Timelord, who took over the coveted role in 2013, earned between £200,000 and £249,999 last year.
That might seem like a lot of money, which obviously it is, but it’s a quarter of the amount David Tennant took home when he played the tenth Doctor. Tennant played the Timelord for three seasons and reportedly earned £1 million for each one. According to the Daily Mail, Matt Smith was offered a far-more reduced contract of £600,000 for three years, with the option to take on two more.
Now that Jodie Whittaker has been announced as the new (and first female) Doctor, the question is whether she will be paid the same as her male predecessors. However, looking at the gender-pay disparity in the the BBC’s Annual Report, it seems she may very well not be.
The British Broadcasting Company’s report shows that the top-paid male stars are paid more than four times the amount the top paid female star earns. BBC Radio 2 DJ and former Top Gear host Chris Evans is paid a staggering amount, between £2.2 million and £2.25 million, compared to TV host Claudia Winkleman who earns between £450,000 and £500,000. In the list of top ten BBC earners there were just two women on the list too.
The gender-pay gap isn’t the only thing highlighted in the BBC report, as it also shows the disparity between the wages of white stars compared to non-white. The highest earning BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) male stars are BBC Radio 1 DJ Trevor Nelson and newsreader George Alagiah, both earning between £250,000 and £299,999.
The highest earning BAME woman is Radio 4 Today programme host Mishal Husain, whose wage is in the same pay bracket as Capaldi and less than half earned by her white male co-host, John Humphrys (who earns between £600,000 and £649,999).
BBC director general Lord Hall told Husain on Today that the corporation needed to go “further and faster" to bridge the gender pay gap: "By 2020 we will have equality between men and women on air, and we will also have the pay gap sorted by then too."
If Capaldi and Matt Smith were earning the same amount per Doctor Who season, £200,000 a year, then it would be damning to the BBC if Whittaker was offered anything less. She has a solid body of acting work to her name, with central roles in all three seasons of Broadchurch, as well as a number of other BBC and ITV shows and on Netflix (see Black Mirror). Whittaker’s name certainly carries far more weight now than Smith’s ever did when he was offered the Timelord role, so if she wasn’t paid as much as him, or Capaldi, then it would only provide more evidence that sexism is at play.
Fingers crossed, then, that Lord Hall and the BBC have already made steps to get rid of the pay disparity because this time next year. Of course, when the 2018 Annual Report is released, we'll know for certain either way.
Doctor Who returns for its annual Christmas special (and Capaldi's final episode as The Doctor), this December.
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