Zoe Ball is so “uncomfortable” at being the top earner in the BBC that is is going to request a pay cut.

The 49-year-old Radio 2 Breakfast Show host is reportedly not happy with her wages rising by £1 million, which took her above the perennial top earner, Gary Lineker.

While the Match of the Day presenter had his salary cut by £400,000, to take him down to £1.35 million a year, Zoe saw her wages rise so that she then topped him in the annual list of BBC earners.


Zoe, who also presents Strictly’s It Takes Two on BBC Two, is thought to be starting negotiations with the corporation “in the coming weeks”, with her new deal kicking in at the beginning of January.

Zoe took over the Radio 2 show from Chris Evans last year and it is the most listened to show on the radio.

A BBC source told The Sun : “Zoe was given a very big pay rise when she took on the job because the gender pay row at the BBC was raging and she was replacing a man on a big wage in a high-profile job.


“She has always been thankful for the wage she earns, and she does work very hard, getting up at 4am daily and putting in long hours.”

Zoe reportedly feels “increasingly uncomfortable” with her wage “in the current climate” where many are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The BBC revealed that Zoe was their top earner when the released their annual pay report, in which those earning more than £150,000 at the Beeb are listed.


Zoe wasn’t the only woman to have had a substantial pay rise, with Fiona Bruce having nearly £200,000 added to her annual wage.

This now means that seven of the top ten earners at the BBC are women, with new director general Tim Davie defended Zoe’s pay.

The radio host has had a difficult time with millions of listeners deserting the breakfast show but Davie said that she is operating in a “punchy” market.

Davie added: “Zoe is absolutely a broadcaster at the top of her game. She is delivering to over eight million listeners.”