>> It's often nicknamed Auntie, but Uncle might be more appropriate. The BBC revealing a yawing pay gap between its male and female stars, when it published its top earners salaries for the first time Wednesday. The 95 year old public broadcaster has been under pressure to do so for years.
Now the government has forced its hand in return for a new funding settlement. At number one, Chris Evans the radio and TV presenter who hosted Top Gear for one series. He nets about £2.25 million or $3.3 million. By contrast, the highest paid woman. Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman earns less than half a million pounds.
>> We're a global broadcaster. We need to employee the very best presenters, the best correspondents, the best stars that there is. We're in a very competitive market, not just with ITN and Sky, but with Netflix, with Amazon, with all sorts of West Coast companies.>> The BBC and others pointing out those salaries pale compared to commercial and global competitors.
According to Forbes, The Late Show's Stephen Colbert, and $15 million for example. But the corporation's detractors jumped on the figures. Respected around the world, the BBC has long been resented by rival broadcasters who say the license fee distorts the market. That fee levied on every UK household with a television is also what sharpens public interest.
Now that consumers spoilt for choice of entertainment subscriptions, some find the idea of an obligatory fee for radio and TV programs outdated. To the Bbc's legions of supporters though, it's a beloved national institution, their window on everything from sporting event to royal weddings.