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Sandi Toksvig reveals 60% QI pay gap from Stephen Fry

BBC quiz host tells Women’s Equality party her pay is equal to panellist Alan DaviesThe QI presenter Sandi Toksvig has revealed she is paid less than half of what former host Stephen Fry received for fronting the popular BBC quiz show.The comedian, who also presents Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off, was speaking to delegates at the Women’s Equality party conference on Saturday when she answered a question about her pay in an economics session. Continue reading...

The QI presenter Sandi Toksvig has revealed she is paid less than half of what former host Stephen Fry received for fronting the popular BBC quiz show.

The comedian, who also presents Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off, was speaking to delegates at the Women’s Equality party conference on Saturday when she answered a question about her pay in an economics session.

Toksvig, 59, who founded the party with Catherine Mayer in 2015, replied that she believed she got 40% of Fry’s pay to host the show, receiving a figure equal to that of regular panellist Alan Davies.

According to Mayer, the news was greeted with a “huge gasp” from the audience in Kettering. “People just did not know,” Mayer said. “Sandi has always been clear that this is not about her pay, but she had to answer the question given that the issue of equal pay is at the centre of our party’s policy.”

Fry once claimed he was paid more to front the general knowledge quiz than the £245,000 Jeremy Paxman received for presenting University Challenge.

Speaking after the event, Toksvig said: “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.”

Toksvig has previously told the Radio Times: “If you are doing the same job it seems a bit absurd if you’re not paid the same.”

The Danish-born writer has also argued, however, that her pay on the show is not an issue. In an interview on BBC 5 Live in October 2016 she said: “I wasn’t concerned about that because it is done through an agent and I am paid by an independent production company that makes the show, and not the BBC anyway.”

Toksvig added that only women were asked about pay because they were generally the ones being underpaid. She said she suspected Miles Jupp would not have been asked if he was getting the same pay as her for taking over the hosting of the News Quiz, a job she did for BBC Radio 4 for nine years.

Earlier this year Toksvig was reported to have claimed she was paid more than her three co-stars on The Great British Bake Off, despite Paul Hollywood’s alleged £1.2m contract.

Not everyone was surprised by Toksvig’s revelation. The broadcaster Richard Bacon tweeted:

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