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Chris Evans defends £2.2million salary: 'My mum says I deserve it'

The star spoke to Radio 2 listeners a day after it was revealed

Andrea Caamano

Chris Evans has defended his £2.2million BBC salary saying that his mum thinks he deserves it. Speaking on his Radio 2 Breakfast Show the presenter revealed he turned to his mum for advice after the news broke on Wednesday morning because "she is very wise".

"So here's what I did. I called my mum. She's 91, she's very wise, she was in the war, and I asked her what she thought. She said: 'Hang on a minute, love, let me just turn the telly down', she was watching Columbo on catch-up at the time, as she often is."

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Chris Evans has defended his BBC pay cheque

She said: 'Tell them that your mum, who's a nurse for most of her life, always told you after your dad died to try to find a job you loved, just like I love nursing, and earn what you can, when you can, while you can - which you did almost straight away from when you were a paper boy earning £1.50 a week for freezing your bits off and falling off your bike every two minutes, right through until what you're doing now.

"'And tell them - if your bosses don't think you're worth it one day, they'll sort that out soon enough'."

The Top Gear presenter added: "So there you are - I'm going with what my mum said and that's it. I don't think you tune in to this show to hear us talk about these things but I had to say that this morning and had to be right and proper that I said that.

"I thank my mum for advice, as always, I live by her word and I will die by her word."

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The Radio 2 DJ is BBC's best paid star

Chris also spoke to reporters on his way to work on Thursday saying that "it's not exactly breaking news that people that do what I do for a living, compared to people in the real world get paid too much money."

He continued: "We've got jobs that people would kill for, we get to do things that people would pay to do if they could afford it and sometimes those things aren’t even available to buy. Most of us work part time anyway, so pay us less, that's what I would do. It's not rocket science."

On Thursday the BBC revealed its highest-paid stars, with Chris Evans topping the list. The Radio 2 DJ made between £2.2m and £2.25m in 2016/2017, while Claudia Winkleman – the BBC's highest-paid female celebrity – took home between £450,000 and £500,000 in the same time period. The figures have revealed notable disparities between what women and men are paid, and Director General Tony Hall conceded there was "more to do" on both gender and diversity.

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