No Gender Pay Gap for Doctor Who: Whittaker Will Be Paid the Same as Capaldi

BBC Director-General, Tony Hall has reassured fans that incoming Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker will be paid the same amount as outgoing Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi has received for 2016/17.

Hall said there would be a “parity” between the two, addressing concerns over the wage gap between female and male earners at the BBC; there’s a massive difference between what the highest-paid man (Chris Evans – and no, not the guy who plays Captain America) and the highest-paid woman (Claudia Winkleman) take home from their jobs presenting BBC TV and radio shows.

Now, we’re not reporting the exact figures here because it’s not necessary: while it’s of huge importance to know that Capaldi and Whittaker will take home the same amount of money for the same amount of work, we don’t need to know precise figures. This is simply a way of the Government to pour scorn on the BBC, and the DWC will not encourage such behaviour. We should always criticise the corporation, in order to help it improve, but we also need to defend it, as a national treasure. It should be a source of pride, not something to be dragged over the coals by the Daily Mail (a newspaper that’s given the BBC hell… despite the Mail also employing Chris Evans).

You might think it’s fair enough to reveal wages, as the BBC is paid for by the public, via a license fee. However, it would only be fair if other broadcasters were to reveal what they pay their higher-earners: you might not think you pay for ITV and co., but have you noticed the cost difference between branded and unbranded items? A significant part of that pricing gap is used to advertise on commercial channels.

This is an industry like any other: yes, comparing what Jeremy Vine earns to that of a nurse, or a firefighter, or a police officer will obviously make Vine’s pay look abysmal, but the line is drawn by competing broadcasters – if the BBC weren’t to offer competitive wages, they would lose all their top talent again and again and again.

We’d also like to point out that the license fee does benefit the other broadcasters, as the BBC invest in the telecommunications infrastructure of the nation.

As the BBC has pointed out, 20 years ago, the license fee (which, in 2016 prices, is the equivalent of £152.82) paid for BBC1, BBC2, BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 Live, Ceefax, and BBC local and nation-wide radio stations; nowadays, the license fee (comparatively cheaper at £147.00) pays for BBC1, BBC, BBC3, BBC4, CBBC, Cbeebies, BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Live, 6, Asian Network, 1 Extra, 4 Extra, 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC News, BBC Parliament, the famous BBC World Service, all of its online services, BBC Alba, iPlayer, BBC Red Button, and all BBC local and nation-wide radio stations.

You get all that for 40p a day per household. That’s just 10p more than a Freddo.

In conclusion: we’re very pleased that sense has prevailed and that Whittaker will earn the same as Capaldi – but we’re not happy that many want to pull apart the BBC for some insane political and financial gains.