Stephen Nolan earning nearly half a million a year

The BBC has released salary details of presenters and stars earning more than 150K. As expected Stephen Nolan is the highest locally paid presenter earning a salary of between £400,000 and £449,999 a year. Nolan is famously a workaholic:

The Belfast-born broadcaster presents a number of radio and TV programmes for the BBC.

He presents The Nolan Show Monday to Friday on BBC Radio Ulster, a programme on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings for BBC 5 live and Question Time: Extra Time on Thursday evenings, as well as hosting the TV programme, Nolan Live, on BBC One Northern Ireland several times a year.

To offset criticism Stephen Nolan should provide a breakdown for each of his shows. If he gets say 200k for his radio show then I would say fair enough. He basically is the unofficial opposition. Is he worth the cost of one MLA? (factoring in MLA salary, office costs, staff costs, etc. literally ). I think he is.

Nolan loves broadcasting. I think he would do it for nothing if he had to. But I imagine he is like a lot of people,  a high salary is just a way of keeping score, a vindication of success.

In the end of the day, it is none of our business what he spends his cash on. He is a private citizen just like the rest of us. But this disclosure will damage his image as the ‘man of the people’. If Stephen is funding a few schools or orphanages in Africa now might be the time to let us know.

I sense that Nolan was rightly stung by the Denis Bradley criticism last week. When he is on form Nolan is a fantastic presenter, but he needs to knock the punch and Judy stuff on the head. He is better than the bear pit easy arguments he too often relies upon.

Here is the list of top paid stars.

Image from the BBC

Note Graham Norton’s salary does not include his payment for his chat show.

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  • the rich get richer

    Thats magic money tree money if you ever saw it……….

    Loud mouth getting too well paid for being a loud mouth……

    You’d think that after Ian Paisley , anyone connected with Northern Ireland wouldn’t be over promoting or paying another Loud Mouth……..

  • redbabylon

    “Nolan loves broadcasting. I think he would do it for nothing if he had to.”
    That’s funny Brian. I thought you might be serious there.

  • WindowLean

    Ah leave Stevie alone. It’s Chris Evans and Alan Shearer we should be focusing on!

  • ElamLayor

    Tayto cheese n onion by the cut of him!

  • Brian O’Neill

    Ah come on. You would only do something 24/7 if you really loved it.

  • Brian O’Neill

    You are right there. Gary Lineker is likeable, but Chris Evans??

  • Nordie Northsider

    I feel an informed, dignified and illuminating phone-in discussion coming on…

  • ElamLayor

    holidays in the US, home country of shock-jockery

  • ElamLayor

    gold-plated gardening tools for his fantasy island mansion in Strangford Lough

  • redbabylon

    “I want to earn as much as I can.”

    That’s Stephen’s response to the naysayers.

  • Slater

    Nolan is such a BBC metropolitan liberal now, stamping out any slightly iffy chatter beyond the known views of UKIP, or any criticism of the BBC. Indeed when any such caller gets going he becomes shrill and cuts them off early.
    Now who taught him that technique and is it related to getting half a million a year?

  • stewrogers

    I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. Success deserves its rewards.

  • the keep

    Gary Lineker likeable really?

  • Granni Trixie

    Trying to leave aside the fact that I’m dead jealous of Nolans salary and enjoying what is bound to be an
    exquisitely embarrassing moment for presenters,
    I’m glad somebody local is getting in on what is obviously an unfair system of horse trading. To answer Brian’s question I imagine Nolan saves or invests quite a lot of salary for when he no longer has this pulling power for presenting potentially has a short shelf life (think John Humphries, Chris Evans maybe not).

    Aside from that, the question arises of what are presenters paid these vast sums to do?,Seems to me ‘presenting’ is something you can either do or not do. Which limits th field. You also need an outgoing personality – correction- an identifiably authentic voice. Then in many presenting jobs you have to be politically and socially aware or you couldn’t deal with what arises – not so much in presenting news but in interactive Talk shows. GRaham Norton or Jonathan Ross are examples of The comedic powers which the public love. Have to say as a follower of Antiques Roadshow I can’t think what particular contribution Fiona Brice lends.

    Meanwhile, wonder if Nolan will present his Ni show tomorrow? Just for badness I expect he will be on with Gregory.

  • Brian O’Neill

    Originally I went with the headline wondering what on earth Stephen spends his money on as he works practically 24/7. This was a mistake on my part as I ended up with upteen snarky comments about Big Macs and crisps. This is against our own play the ball not the man rule so I have amended the post to make it more general about the BBC salary story. My bad.

  • Brian O’Neill

    That is a good point. Is it just begrudgery? If a local footballer signed a record transfer deal with a premier league club would we not applaud him?

  • Brian O’Neill

    Hey he is Mr nice. A national treasure…

  • stewrogers

    Correct. Its simply outrage that someone is getting handsome reward for what they make look like a simple job. Yes some of them get obscene money, but I’d say there is an element of the the market dictating that. the big story surely is why the women are getting paid so much less.

  • ted hagan

    Yes, Brian, well said. He certainly was stung by the Denis Bradley criticism, hence the independent interview that has been set up for tomorrow’s show. Personally I think Nolan is a talented radio host with an ego that is out of control. To switch from ‘sensitive’ Stephen who ‘cares deeply’ about the queue of unfortunates he parades on his show to the knockabout stuff with his stooge Vinny about annoying he will splash out on a pet dog or new garden plants is getting both tiresome and sickening. He comes across as a man who has got bored with life, maybe because of the vast sums of money he earns for really very little. As for his ‘man of the people’ act, it comes across as crass and patronising. His bubble will surely burst.

  • Aodh Morrison

    My comment on this thread ‘detected as spam’.

    Good old Disqus.

  • Brian O’Neill

    I see it ok?

  • ted hagan

    Not really. Obsessive and a bit insecure and needy, I would say.

  • Glenn

    Done that with several of my posts on other issues???

  • Aodh Morrison

    Ok. I don’t (I’m not referring to the post you’ve replied to obviously).

    I’m also getting those lurid ad popups promising me an easy route to making a million quid (unless given the topic they are an attempt at satire 😉 ).

    Maybe it’s the restaurant free wifi I posted from.

  • Aodh Morrison

    Conspiracy!!!

    The Lizards are at their work!

  • redbabylon

    I do begrudge this guy his huge salary. And it’s simply because I detest his shows. People from NI never stop fighting, and they just love this guy, even if it’s just to hate him. The next day they’re tuned in all over again ready for fisticuffs and posting comments on twitter. He also has side acts, Norman from somewhere, Jude psycho Collins, Gregory angry Campbell. And this guy winds it all up with an earpiece directing him. All these people go on this show arguing how shows like this are partisan and divisive. The public happily scathe on social media. He’s the equivalent of heroin to a junky. And unfortunately this place us full of junkies addicted to the past. I look forward to the days when Nolan is gone.

  • Glenn

    How many nurses, how many doctors, how many teachers, how many social workers, you get my drift. This is the kind of anal argument he has use interviewing others. He is a shock jock how many more younger and as talented shock jocks are there out there that will do the job because that is all it is a job for the average industrial wage. Now there’s a term to slap his fat chops with.

    And that applies to the rest. If I never see Lineker and Shearer taking their bilge as they ruin the beautiful game, it will be too soon.

  • Granni Trixie

    And another thing…how many of these top earners are from mc backgrounds? Yet Nolan is one of ours who has made it into this elite group of top earners and he came from a wc family. Credit to him however unfair the system.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I’m seeing all manner of cures for diseased feet and am paranoid that t’internet is trying to tell me something….

  • Brian O’Neill

    I know disqus started showing ads without telling us 🙁 We are sorting it out at the moment. They should be gone by tomorrow.

  • Skibo

    Well who doesn’t want to earn as much as they can? The life of a presenter can be very fickle and the slightest thing could knock him off his perch. He has a good run because he is actually very good at what he does.
    He is producing an entertainment programme and at the same time trying to get answers to questions all of us would love to ask.
    Only thing is, he has the cahonas to ask the questions in public.

  • Skibo

    Catch a grip of yourself! He does a job and he does it very well. It is a radio presenter’s job to increase the ratings. He has not just increased the ratings, he has shattered the record for them and has won numerous awards doing it.
    He deserves his reward and anything else is just jealousy!

  • Skibo

    I heard a programme where he divulged that he invests in young people who need a hand up, particularly with education. I think he sort of had it said before he realised he had done it. He trys to put back into his community. I too think he is a credit.

  • Skibo

    The only time I have ever heard him cut anyone off is when they are truly vicious about someone in particular or when an allegation is raised where the person it is about is not there to defend themselves.

  • Korhomme

    I suppose the BBC do have a method for allocating salaries, perhaps related to how many viewers or listeners have; but if they do, it’s not at all apparent.

    And even if some are paid over £2 million, this isn’t that much in the corporate world. Payments to CEOs of major companies are now often more than 365 times the earnings of their workers; the CEO gets paid daily what the worker gets in a year.

    So perhaps the BBC gets its ‘stars’ on the cheap.

  • Aodh Morrison

    And they whack me for spamming. ;O

  • ElamLayor

    Carefull now Glenn!-any reference to Nolan’s weight problems,which he has often spoken about,will get modded.It will be called “playing the ball not the man”, meanwhile glossing over his default MO of doing exactly that

  • Brendan Heading

    Brian,

    Originally I went with the headline wondering what on earth Stephen spends his money on as he works practically 24/7

    what does he work on 24/7 ? I make it 7.5 hrs of the Nolan show, 9 hours for Five Live, one hour a week for Question Time Extra Time, and let’s say x2 for preparation – 35 hours. What else ?

  • ElamLayor

    Except that the BBC can’t be termed “a major company” in any meaningfull way when 19 people (disproportionally female and working class) per working day go through the Courts here for non payment and acquire a criminal record, and if they can’t pay, a prison sentence.Set against that the payments to Nolan,Evans,Lineker et al are obscene.”‘stars’ on the cheap” my arse.

  • ElamLayor

    So he said something,sometime,somewhere? This is equivalent to “someone told me down the pub…”

  • ElamLayor

    Mr nice costs £1.750 000 – £1.799 999. A National treasure indeed.

  • ElamLayor

    promoting a fellow miscreants? such as Charlie

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Wolf

  • Sprite

    Issues like this just throw up the talents society truly treasures, sportsmen, television celebs and movie stars against the skills that are truly exceptional and benefit mankind – scientists, surgeons, technical innovators for example. On any objective level you can’t say that Stephen Nolan is really worth the same remuneration as four doctors added together but that’s the way we have ordered things – it’s all a bit bonkers

  • Zeno3

    Footballers are different though. They are signed and paid huge salaries by the clubs because they generate revenue. Nolan doesn’t generate any revenue for the BBC. Whether Nolan is at the BBC or not their income remains the same.

  • ElamLayor

    lols! got that old canard arse about face!

  • LordSummerisle

    “He basically is the unofficial opposition.” Nonsense a shameless self promoter and what would have been called in days gone past a profiteer and/or a spiv. Hardly the voice of reason. A man who to be frank has had his day and yet continues to hold BBC Northern Ireland hostage because of his so called listening figures. The contrast between his 5 Live programme and his ‘shock jock’ approach in Belfast proves that he is nothing more than a rabble-rouser.. He should be kicked over to Salford on a permanent basis. Whilst I am on my rant may I just add how condescending he is ? For example his ‘Special’ on visiting bonfire sites… “These people are in tracksuits… they don’t have degrees..’ Ughhh!!!!!!!! Not to mention his legion of repeat callers, who we are expected to believe just phone in randomly ? When in fact a Nolan Show researcher contacts them for their views ? Value for money, I think not.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The allocation off salaries by any media organisation is what an agent can drive the salary up to. And as you point out, the figures that those anonymous people aspiring towards the 1% pay themselves leave the media “freaks” who are selling “personality” standing. I can think of rather better ways to allocate this kind of money myself.

  • Glenn

    “Catch a grip of yourself” how Nolan of you. He is a slobber and a very well paid one. He is paid by the public and is there to inform, ask questions and get answers not self promote or like he did with RHI and twist the facts to increase his ratings. He is not there to take advantage of those with little or no education as he has done recently and in the past.

    He is now the story and when he gets his jaws flapping not because he is tucking into his favourite take away, but because he is taking on a politico. Their retort to him will be why don’t you take a huge pay cut and put your money where your mouth is.

    The arrogance of the man he has even started to parody the voice of Norman from Bangor, how insulting.

    Do you want a portion of prawn crackers with that???

  • the rich get richer

    Off topic and moving in to dangerous territory .

    Is Stephen Nolan or his employer looking out for his health .

    The man is not looking well .
    I am an overweight man myself and do my best to control it ( total that successfully either )

    I would hope that had I Stephen Nolan’s money that there is assistance that I could get .

    Though bitchin about his wages its apparent that the man is not in good health and needs a bit of looking after (don’t we all )

  • Korhomme

    The ‘neo-liberal’ economy at work, the mantra that ‘greed is good’ — except when it’s ‘austerity’ for the rest of us. Sadly, I see no sign that this wretched theory is on its way out.

  • Peter Carroll

    None of these stars are paid for what they do but more for how “famous” they are. Same applies to people in Music and Sport. The more people in the world “know” who you are then the more of these people’s money find their way to them. Look at all the reality stars who get much more for doing nothing. You can argue about the pros and cons of that but that is the simple truth.

  • Brian O’Neill

    No idea exactly what hours he does work. But it must be a pain in the hole travelling to Manchester etc every week. If it was me I would just do one thing and chill out the rest of the time but hey each to their own.

  • Skibo

    Sounds like a DUP nerve has been touched there!
    He is employed by radio Ulster to head a radio show and increase the ratings. He has definitely done that. He has more listeners than any other show.
    He asks questions about things that some people on both sides of the community prefer did not get questioned.
    To me he acts like the conscience of the North.
    He is that wee voice inside your head when your are necking your buckfast at the bonie and having a great time, saying “you know Glenn our bonfire is wile close to thon block of flats. Should we really have built it here? Maybe we could have kept it a bit smaller. I hope we don’t offend anyone with all them posters we put on it”
    Well Glenn, do you want another wee buckie and throw another tyre on the bonie!

  • Granni Trixie

    I don’t see how what you say stacks up. For sport as well as politics the presenter needs to know their stuff or they will get caught out plus I would distinguish between people who appear as celebs/reality stars
    and people who have to have some level of expertise in their subject. Or dont forget that often the success of a talk show absolutely depends on the presenter having a pleasing or big personality and amusing the audience. Not everyone can do this.

  • Peter Carroll

    Yes of course they all have to be competent and for presenters have a certain likeability / appearance. Also for Sportspeople, yes they win prize money in competitions due to their skill, but I was thinking more of their sponsorship deals and later in life TV presenter roles etc.
    The question was why does Stephen or any of the others get paid 100’s of thousands vs 10’s of thousands that someone doing basically the same job in say local radio or TV. Or a Nurse/Fireman who probably works much harder and as Stephen himself admitted had a more important role in society.
    When the now famous are starting out they get paid a “normal” wage then at some point due to hard work and being good at whatever it is they do they become famous and the sky’s the limit. So you could say that they are not paid for what they do now but for all the years it took them to become famous. Good luck to him.

  • Glenn

    Your post says more about you and Is the insult filled typical stereotyping of anyone who disagrees your view. As for bonfires not a fan, as for skyscraper bonfires should be banned and as for buckie have never had the pleasure. So don’t presume to know me.

    I look forward after his, I claim the 5th non interview yesterday. How he will get his words stuffed down his fat neck by those he is interviewing.

  • Skibo

    You condemn me for suggesting you might be a buckfast drinking bonfire supporting Loyalist and then you go on to insult Nolan for his looks.
    I listened to his interview and tried to ring in to offer my support but the lines were congested. Seems to have been more in support than against.
    I believe Nolan does a service for the community in asking questions on issues we normally hide away from. He is equally abrasive of both sides.
    I don’t always like his approach especially when he tries to get vulnerable people to break down live on the radio.
    I have little sympathy for politicians who complain about him bantering them. That is his job. More interesting is the politicains and the parties that will not come onto his show.

  • Gary Collins

    Speaking as someone from the South of Ireland, but frequently am lucky enough to catch BBC Radio (way better than the rubbish we get down here) Nolan is not the worst of them.I would not begrudge him, he works for his money and if he was not pulling in the audience and sponsors (actually, sorry, I forgot, BBC don’t do ads etc ) he would be out of work.