The issue of pay equality is at the centre of the Time’s Up movement, and Sandi Toksvig has now reignited the debate with regards to UK TV talent.
The presenter recently revealed that she and Noel Fielding are paid the same amount for their co-hosting duties on The Great British Bake Off, but she has now claimed that she is paid less than half of her predecessor Stephen Fry’s wage for fronting QI.
“So, I didn’t know the facts about pay transparency,” Toksvig said on stage at the Women’s Equality party conference yesterday (September 8).
“And I also never wanted the argument to be about me, because I’ve been spending my life trying to fight for the greater good.
“So it’s important to me that there are… you know, I have a nice living and do very well.
“So I was much keener to focus on the women in supermarkets stacking shelves and people who really can’t stand up and speak for themselves.”
She added: “I recently discovered… do you want me to tell you? I feel awkward.
“I get 40% of what Stephen [Fry] used to get [for hosting QI]. And I get the same pay as Alan Davies who is not the host.
“So I temper this with the fact that I love the show and [am] the first woman to host such a show.”
Toksvig was answering a question in an economics session for the party, which she created with author and journalist Catherine Mayer, who posted the clip on Twitter.
On posting the clip, Mayer said: “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”
Stephen Fry hosted 13 series of the panel show from 2003 to 2015, with Sandi Toksvig taking over as host for Series N in 2016.
Alan Davies is the sole permanent panellist on the show, and has been on the quiz since its first episode.
The BBC said in a statement: “QI is made by an independent production company who manage their own talent fees.”
Series P (the 16th run) of the show begins on BBC Two on September 10.