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BBC foots Gary Lineker's 15000-pound commuting bills

London, Sat, 17 Mar 2012 ANI

London, Mar 17 (ANI): Gary Lineker, who earns 2 million pounds, has his commuting bills paid by BBC as they splash out more than 15,000 pounds a year to cover the former footie star's travel to work.


After finishing each 'Match of the Day' show, the presenter has a chauffeur waiting to drive him from the Corporation's new studios in Salford to his home in London.


The BBC also pays for the former England captain's first-class train ticket from London to Manchester to begin filming each week.


This is despite Lineker, 51, taking home one of the highest salaries at the Corporation.


The broadcaster's official policy is not to pay travel expenses for freelance presenters who live in the South-East and work in Salford - meaning other hosts, such as Radio 5 Live's Victoria Derbyshire, have to meet these costs themselves.


However, Lineker's contract was signed before the Corporation's move to the Greater Manchester site was confirmed.


It is understood to have guaranteed to provide his travel to and from the programme.


Since the move, however, his 200-mile chauffeur-driven trip home from work can take up to four hours and costs around 350 pounds.


He makes the journey 40 times a year, leaving his employer with an annual bill of about 14,000 pounds. His rail tickets are thought to cost a further 1,500 pounds every 12 months.


The Corporation insists that the first-class fare is justified to ensure the presenter's privacy, and claims the chauffeur-driven car is necessary because filming finishes after the last London-bound train has left Manchester.


John Whittingdale, chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport select committee has a different opinion.


"It is very difficult to see how the BBC can justify this given the amount Gary Lineker is paid, particularly if people on much lower salaries have to pay transport costs themselves," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.


The revelation has also irritated staff members who have uprooted their families and moved to the North-West to keep their jobs.


"Why are people who are being paid such a vast sum of money already not being told that if you want to work for the BBC, you have to move near your place of work?" one of the staff said.


"There is a feeling so-called talent get things other members of staff don't get," the employee added. (ANI)


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