BBC rich list revealed: Gary Lineker is knocked-off corporation's top-earner ...

Gary Lineker has been finally knocked off the top spot of the BBC's highest earning stars after being handed a £400,000 pay cut - with Zoe Ball now the corporation's best-paid big name.

The corporation's accounts were released at midday and showed the Match of the Day star, 59, had earned £1.75million last year, with Ball, 49, on £1.36 million.

But less than a minute later the BBC announced Lineker had signed a new five-year contract which involved a 23% pay reduction.

It means his pay will go to around £1.35 million, below Radio 2 host Ball's salary.

Lineker - who is often criticised for comments on Twitter - has also pledged to post more carefully on social media.

The choreographed pay cut saw him gloat online almost immediately, tweeting 'Oh dear. Thoughts are with the haters at this difficult time.'

Gary Lineker

Radio 2 DJ Zoe Ball

Radio 2 DJ Zoe Ball will now overtake Gary Lineker as the BBC's highest paid stars 

Lineker tweeted moments after the BBC announced his new deal and pay cut

Lineker tweeted moments after the BBC announced his new deal and pay cut

BBC Rich list 2020 top ten

1. BBC Radio 2 breakfast show DJ Zoe Ball is on £1.36 million.

2. Match of the Day host Gary Lineker is on £1.35 million. 

3. Graham Norton takes about £725,000 for his Radio 2 show and some TV work, but not his chat show.

4. Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright is on about £475,000.

5. Newsreader and election night presenter Huw Edwards is on more than £465,000.

6. Fiona Bruce takes home over £450,000 for her work on Question Time.

7. BBC Radio London's Vanessa Feltz is on about £405,000.

8. Desert Island Discs host Lauren Laverne is on more than £395,000.

9. Broadcaster Stephen Nolan is on over £390,000 for his radio work, including 5 Live.

10. Match Of The Day's Alan Shearer is on the same figure of £390,000 a year.

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In the BBC's statement he was more restrained and added: 'I love working with the BBC, and am very proud to continue to be a part of their outstanding football team.

'I'm looking forward to the next five years - with a European Championship and World Cup on the horizon, it's exciting times for me and the team.'

Ball, 49, has become the highest paid female star at the BBC for her radio role - as the broadcaster revealed its staff bill has rocketed to £1.5billion. 

Pay packets made through BBC Studios, the broadcaster's commercial arm and responsible for the likes of Strictly Come Dancing, Antiques Roadshow and Doctor Who, are not disclosed.

Graham Norton takes about £725,000 for his Radio 2 show and some TV work, but not his chat show.

Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright is on about £475,000.

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