QI host Sandi Toksvig has revealed she is paid 40% of what the programme’s former host Stephen Fry used to earn for his work on the comedy panel show.
The 60-year-old took over from Fry in October 2016 and her third series as host is set to begin on Monday.
Toksvig was asked a question about her QI salary by an audience member at the Women’s Equality Party conference, where she gave a speech on feminist economics.
She said: “I have recently discovered I get 40% of what Stephen used to get. And I get the same pay as Alan Davies, who is not the host.
“I temper this with the fact that I love the show and I’m the first woman to host such a show.”
The Great British Bake Off presenter’s disclosure produced gasps from the crowd at the event.
Following the question-and-answer session, Toksvig, co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party, added: “I love QI and the brilliant team who produce it.
“John Lloyd and the team champion women on the show.
“I was asked a question at the Women’s Equality Party conference that I felt I had to answer, because the issues with equal pay and the gender pay gap cut right across the media and all industries and all areas of life.
“Until now I had held back from talking about this because this is not about me.
“However, the lack of transparency around pay is a big part of the problem and I hope that being open, I can support women across the country whose work is undervalued.”
TV presenter Richard Bacon commented on a video posted by Catherine Mayer, co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party, showing a clip of Toksvig talking about the pay disparity.
Alongside the clip Mayer wrote: “HUGE GASP in room at @WEP_UK conference as @sanditoksvig reveals she gets just 40% of what Stephen Fry got for hosting #QI and only the same as Alan Davies. #WE2018.”
Bacon commented on Mayer’s post, writing: “Yes. Because he’s Stephen Fry. Some talent costs more than others. And sometimes, it’s got nothing to do with gender.”
A BBC spokesman said: “QI is made by an independent production company who manage their own talent fees.”