BBC host Gary Lineker is keen to do his part, as the Match Of The Day host pledged to donate two months’ worth of his net salary to British Red Cross amid the coronavirus battle.
The presenter is the highest-paid BBC host, after it was revealed last year he was taking in an annual salary of £1.75million – which means this donation could be around the £300,000 mark.
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Wanting to chip in with the efforts being made by the charity, Gary – who hosts Match of the Day, Sports Personality of the Year and World Cup – told BBC today: ‘I have made (the) decision myself, it has taken a bit of time to work out what to do with my, obviously, BBC salary, so I have decided that I am going to donate two months salary.
‘I’m taking the salary, but I’m going to donate two months net salary to the British Red Cross, who are on the front line trying to help in all sorts of different ways with the coronavirus.
‘And, hopefully, lots of other people that are in a position of relative wealth can do something similar. And I am sure many will.’
He added: ‘And, if they would like to follow suit with me that would be great.’
Gary added on Twitter: ‘Decided to donate a couple of months’ salary to @BritishRedCross who are doing vital work for those most vulnerable during the Coronavirus crisis.
‘Feel incredibly fortunate to be able to do this. If you’d like to join in, it’d be greatly appreciated.’
The 59-year-old presenter went into self-isolation earlier this week after his son George displayed coronavirus symptoms.
Gary – who also has sons Harry, Tobias and Angus, with his ex-wife Michelle Cockayne – revealed: ‘In self isolation as @GeorgeLineker has symptoms. They’re not the regular ones, but complete loss of sense of taste and smell. Odd these have not been pointed out much. Been nearly a week and has spent time at mine. I’ve been vigilant, hand washing/distancing but isolation it is.
‘Worth being careful if you lose your sense of taste and smell. You could unknowingly have the virus. I checked all this with a doctor before sharing the information. Stay safe.’
The size of Gary’s BBC salary has come under criticism in the past after it was revealed in last year’s BBC annual report in July.
It was said he’d offered to take a pay cut after pay inequality was revealed, saying: ‘I love my job at the BBC and I enjoy doing it.
‘I’m currently negotiating a new contract with them and I’m volunteering to take less.’
He had previously said broadcasters ‘can’t really justify our salary compared with people who do a real job’.
He added: ‘But you know, that’s the market rate.’
The star joins the likes of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Dolly Parton (who all donated $1m (£807k) towards the effort) and James McAvoy, who have all chipped in money in aid of those fighting coronavirus.
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