Outspoken BBC presenters Jonathan Ross and Chris Moyles are to have their salaries reduced, the corporation has announced.

The BBC has come in for criticism for the high salaries paid to its leading presenters, with Ross - who recently returned to broadcasting following a three-month suspension - reportedly tied to a three-year deal worth £18 million.

But with market conditions having "clearly changed" due to the global economic crisis, presenters' pay will be reduced when their contracts next come up for renewal.

The announcement of the salary cuts follows the revelation from director general Mark Thompson that senior BBC executive will not receive a pay rise or bonus until 2010.

A spokeswoman today confirmed press reports that presenters were facing reduced pay cheques though the BBC has not commented on individual salaries.

"While it's true to say that we are, of course, honouring existing contracts, our presenters are aware that when contracts fall due for renewal, the fee will be reduced," she said.

"We hugely value our talented presenters, but the fees we pay are influenced by market conditions, which have clearly changed.

"Naturally, those on the highest fees will be most affected by market conditions. Everyone at the BBC is conscious of the pressures that the public is facing."

It has been claimed Radio 1 DJ Moyles faces a £158,000 cut in his annual salary with light entertainment host Graham Norton likely to see a £1.25 million drop in his yearly earnings.

29/01/2009 13:35:40