Gary Lineker’s jaw-dropping salary: Here’s what he earns as a BBC host

Amid controversy over his criticism of the Rwanda plan, let’s have a look at the host’s 7-figure salary.

Gary Lineker earns a jaw-dropping salary as a BBC presenter
© Karwai Tang / GETTYIMAGES
Gary Lineker earns a jaw-dropping salary as a BBC presenter

Gary Lineker is one of the UK’s most famous sports presenters. He had a successful career as a footballer, playing 80 times for England. Lineker stopped playing in 1994 but went on to become even more successful as a presenter. In 1999, he became the host of Match Of The Day. He is currently at the top of the BBC’s earning list, though his career has not been without controversy.

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Lineker was temporarily asked to stand down from the role in March after he accused Suella Braverman of using ‘language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s’ in her migrant crackdown. Now, he is once again facing controversy for his comments about politicians. Here’s what he’s in trouble for this time and how much he earns for his role at the BBC.

Gary Lineker’s comments on Rwanda plan

On Monday 11 December, the presenter signed an open letter that criticised the government’s Rwanda plan. He, along with other celebrities, called the government to scrap the scheme - which has already cost millions and is set to cost more - and come up with a ‘fair new plan for refugees’.

The host faced criticism for the move as MPs claimed he was breaching BBC guidelines by getting involved with party politics. However, the BBC has said that Lineker is ‘free to contribute to projects for third parties, as long as these do not conflict with his BBC commitments… breach guidelines on conflicts of interest; nor bring the BBC into disrepute’.

Grant Shapps, the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, said Lineker should ‘stop meddling’:

It's all very well signing letters... but I would suggest just focusing on football would be a better solution for him.

Meanwhile, Tory MP Jonathan Gullis said the letter was ‘yet another breach of the BBC's impartiality rules by Gary Lineker’.

Lineker felt strongly enough about this accusation to respond:

Jonathan hasn't read the new guidelines…. or, should I say, had someone read them to him?

The comments have kept on coming, with the Conservatives' deputy chairman Lee Anderson saying:

For once in his life, Gary's absolutely right - we do need a system that reflects the will of the British people. What the people want is to stop the boats and to tell overpaid crisp salesmen to put a sock in it.

In case you didn’t know, Lineker is the face of Walkers Crisps; in 2020 he signed a £1.2m three-year deal as a representative of the brand.

Gary Lineker’s enormous salary

On top of this brand deal, Lineker earns a hefty sum from his work as a TV presenter. He hosts Match of the Day, co-hosts the Sports Personality Of The Year show every year, and is an anchor for the BBC’s FA Cup coverage.

Lineker has been the highest-paid BBC presenter for the last five years. When the network released how much their top stars were paid in 2021/22, it was revealed that the host made somewhere between £1,350,000 and £1,354,999. This put him miles ahead of the second highest-paid presenter, Zoe Ball, who earned between £980,000 and £984,999.

So, he may be facing controversy for his latest comments, but Lineker is certainly getting the last laugh with a pay package considerably higher than those of the MPs who are coming after him.

Read more:

Phillip Schofield, Piers Morgan, Holly Willoughby and more: Here are the UK TV hosts with the highest net worth

Rishi Sunak: Here's the one thing he often wears and will desperately need amid Rwanda row

As Robert Jenrick resigns, here’s the crazy salary he earned as immigration minister

Sources used:

BBC: Gary Lineker criticised over Rwanda comments in impartiality row

Mail Online: BBC bosses 'talk to Gary Lineker' after outspoken Match of the Day star slammed the Government's Rwanda plan then ridiculed Tories who criticised him for 'flouting impartiality rules' - as staff blast 'not fit for purpose' social media guidelines

The Sun: GARY'S GAINS What is Gary Lineker’s net worth?

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