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BBC presenters earned thousands hosting events for wealth management firms, register shows

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 04/05/2021 Anita Singh
Andrew Marr wearing a suit and tie: Andrew Marr hosted an event for Brewin Dolphin fund managers in March - Ian West/PA © Ian West/PA Andrew Marr hosted an event for Brewin Dolphin fund managers in March - Ian West/PA

Some of the BBC's highest-paid presenters are taking money to host events for wealth management firms, according to the corporation's first register of outside earnings.

The register lists the outside activities of dozens of household names but does not specify their exact fees, only categorising outside earnings for individual jobs as commanding above or below £5,000.

The list covers the first three months of the year, and the BBC said no engagement exceeded £10,000 during that period.

Those charging £5,000-£10,000 per job include BBC Breakfast and Football Focus host Dan Walker – salary £260,000-£264,999 – who appeared at an event for St James's Place Wealth Management and another for the Co-op.

Andrew Marr, who earns £360,000-£364,999, hosted an event for Brewin Dolphin fund managers in March.

Mishal Husain – salary £265,000-£269,999 – worked as an interviewer for an organisation called World 50, which bills itself as "a private community for senior-most executives from globally respected organisations to intimately share ideas, solutions and collaborative discovery free from press, competition and solicitation".

table: The BBC stars who earned more than 5,000 from outside work © Provided by The Telegraph The BBC stars who earned more than 5,000 from outside work

Justin Webb, who earns £250,000-£254,999, made four appearances on the list – as a speaker for Proxima Ltd, a procurement and supply chain consultancy; hosting an event for the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment; chairing a panel for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and speaking at an event organised by CityWealth magazine.

Others earning over £5,000 a time during the first three months of this year include Emily Maitlis (Mason Hayes & Curran Law), Kirsty Wark (WISH Foundation for Global Health), Clive Myrie (Made in Manchester Productions), and Louise Minchin (Hull Business Awards).

Under rules brought in by Tim Davie, the BBC director-general, on-air presenters from the corporation's news and current affairs, sports news and radio journalism must declare earnings from work undertaken outside the corporation, including speaking engagements or corporate events. The details will be published quarterly.

The BBC said 85 per cent of entries on the list fellow below £5,000, and 50 per cent of those were for amounts under £1,000. The list extends only to staff, not freelancers, so does not include Gary Lineker and others who work for more than one broadcaster.

Staff must ensure that the events in which they take part do not represent a conflict of interest, and a BBC spokesman said all events listed complied with editorial guidelines.

Mark Easton, the BBC's Home Affairs editor, was cleared to chair a panel for the National Housing Federation, and Spencer Kelly, the presenter of the BBC Click technology show, chaired a panel for the tech conglomerate Cisco.

 A spokesman said: "The BBC's robust and long-standing Editorial Guidelines permit staff to carry out additional engagements as long as they do not compromise the integrity or impartiality of the BBC."

Kamal Ahmed, the editorial director of BBC News, was forced to apologise to staff last year for accepting a £12,000 fee to speak at a banking conference hosted by Aberdeen Standard Investments, days after overseeing the announcement of 450 job cuts.

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