Gary Lineker’s yearly pay could nab small private island

Gary Lineker
Credit: Cubankite /

Something for the weekend: While many employers do their best to help staff cope with the rising cost-of-living, the BBC has published the salaries of its highest paid stars, with Match of the Day host Gary Lineker (pictured) taking the top spot for the fifth year in a row.

Lineker earned £1.35 million in the last financial year. Wages have tightened even at the top, though, as this was down slightly on the £1.36 million he earned in the previous year, following a previous pay cut from £1.75 million.

Even at this lower rate, Lineker could line up some exciting purchases with one year’s pay. According to Private Islands Inc., there are a number of lots available for under £1 million, ranging from three to 30 acres and in locations such as Belize, the United States, Canada, Fiji and more.

For £1.3 million, Lineker could be spending his annual leave on the five-acre Ilha de Sao Joao in Belize, one-acre Zuna Island in Australia, or even the 50-acre South Octopus Island in British Columbia, Canada.

Known to have a penchant for cars, with one year’s salary Lineker could by 10 Porsche 911s at £98,000 apiece, or 17 of his favourite Jaguar F-types for £56,000 each.

Radio 2 Breakfast Show host Zoe Ball took second place, with a £980,000 salary, following a 28% pay cut that she took at the end of 2020. She was one of only three women to make this year’s top 10, with Fiona Bruce and Vanessa Feltz also making the cut.

Despite the substantial gap between hers and Lineker’s yearly take-homes, Ball’s salary could nab her the 14-acre Humphrey Island on a lake in Minnesota, or the palm-tree studded eight-acre Marakorako Island in French Polynesia.

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Tim Davie, director general at the BBC, said: “If you step back, the actual amount paid for that group of talent, which only represents a tiny fraction of the 200,000-odd people who come on our airwaves every year…the return we get in terms of audience value is very strong.”

While the cost-of-living crisis is no laughing matter, at Employee Benefits we always enjoy the guilty pleasure of taking a sneak peak into the lifestyles of the rich and the famous…