In news to make you go ‘whaaaaaat?’ Sandi Toksvig revealed at the annual conference for the Women’s Equality Party in Kettering, that she is paid less than half of what Stephen Fry earned for hosting BBC quiz show QI.
At the party conference, which Sandi co-founded three years ago, in a question and answer session, the presenter said she believed she got 40% of Stephen Fry’s pay, the same as regular panellist Alan Davies: ”I temper this with the fact I love this show and am the first woman to host such a show.”
Sandi added: “I have a nice living and I do very well, So I was much keener to focus on the women in supermarkets”.
Party co-founder Catherine Mayer said the revelation was greeted with a “huge gasp” from delegates. “People just did not know” she explained, “Sandi has always been clear that this is not about her pay, but she had to answer the question given that the issue of equal pay is at the centre of our party’s policy.”
Sandi insisted that she loved QI and its “brilliant team” who “champion women” and that she felt obliged to answer the question “because the issues with equal pay and the gender pay gap cut right across the media and all industries and all areas of life”.
She added: “Until now I had held back from talking about this because this is not about me. However, the lack of transparency around pay is a big part of the problem and I hope that being open, I can support women whose work is undervalued.”