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  1. ITV Report

Corbyn: The BBC needs to look very hard at itself over 'astronomical' gender pay gap

Jeremy Corbyn said the treatment of women by the corporation was 'appalling'. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

Jeremy Corbyn has said the BBC "needs to look very hard at itself" over the gender pay gap.

The Labour leader said he would join more than 40 leading female stars in signing an open letter calling on the Director General Tony Hall to act.

He told The Andrew Marr Show the treatment of women by the broadcaster was "appalling".

"The BBC needs to look very hard at itself because the levels between the gender pay gap are quite astronomical," he said.

Mr Corbyn said Labour would insist on a gender pay audit of every organisation and would also look at the ratio between the chief executive and the lowest paid staff member of every public sector organisation.

"And the BBC is very much public sector," he added.

Presenter Andrew Marr discussed his own salary on his Sunday morning show. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

Presenter Andrew Marr, who is paid up to £449,999, spoke about his own salary saying he received a high wage because he had been around for a long time.

On his Sunday morning show, he said: "People like me, I have been around for a long time, we get paid more because we have got experience.

"I'm a bit grizzled, going a bit weird around the edges.

"But if I had been born Audrey Marr rather than Andrew Marr, I would have been out 10 years ago.

"There's a real lack of older women on the screen anywhere."

Clare Balding, Victoria Derbyshire and Mishal Husain are among demanding urgent action. Credit: PA

Clare Balding, Victoria Derbyshire and Angela Rippon are among those who have signed the letter after it emerged some of their male colleagues were being paid more for doing the same job.

It comes after the BBC was compelled to publish details of its top-earning talent for the first time earlier this week in disclosures that showed two thirds of the best paid stars were men.

Radio 2 host Chris Evans came out as the BBC's top earner taking home between £2.2 million and £2.25 million per year.

He was followed by Match of the Day host Gary Lineker, who is on a salary of between £1.75 million and £1,799,999.

Chat show host Graham Norton was the third highly paid with between £850,000 and £899,999, it was revealed.

In comparison, the top earning female star was Strictly host Claudia Winkleman, who earns between £450,000 and £499,999.

Strictly host Claudia Winkleman is the top earning female star. Credit: PA

Of the most highly paid on-air stars, the top seven are all white males.

And within the top 20 highest paid on-air stars, only five are female and none are of black, Asian, or minority ethnic (BAME) descent.

Lord Hall has admitted there is "more to do" to equalise pay for women and black and ethnic minority staff.

"What this says to me is we have to go further and faster," he told ITV News after the report was released.

He has pledged that half of lead and presenting roles will be filled by women by 2020.