BBC economics editor looks set to move to ITV on a reported salary of £750,000.

The Daily Mail diary reports today that his new package will include a weekly talkshow with his name in the title.

Such a salary would place Peston among the highest-earning UK journalists.

In the mid 2000s Jeremy Paxman was reported to earn £800,000 a year for presenting Newsnight and a further £240,000 for University Challenge.

BBC salaries have been reduced since then and payments for “talent” are under particular scrutiny at present as the BBC makes the case for renewing its ten-year charter.

BBC director general and editor-in-chief Tony Hall is paid an annual salary of £450,000.

If true, Robert Peston’s new deal would see him earn more than five times the salary of the Prime Minister.

According to The Guardian, Peston missed out on the job of BBC political editor – which instead went to Laura Kuenssberg when Nick Robinson moved to the Today programme.

In a spoof on-air appeal, presenter Jonathan Dimbleby described Peston's potential departure as the "most serious crisis facing the BBC", while Huw Edwards, Nicholas Parsons and Eddie Mair also took part in the stunt on BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

Parsons quipped that Peston's ability to talk with "clarity and smoothness" made him the perfect candidate for a slot on his show Just A Minute.

In a statement, ITV said: "We have no comment to make at this time on the recruitment for, or the speculation around, our political editor role."

A BBC spokesman declined to comment.



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