The BBC spent a total of 229 million on presenters over the 12 months to March 2009, the Corporation has revealed.

The BBC is not releasing details of individual salaries, but top-earners are reported to include Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton, Jeremy Paxman and Fiona Bruce.

The BBC said it was the first time in its history it had made the figures public.

However, it refused to reveal who had pocketed the salaries, citing reasons relating to data protection and contract confidentiality.

A BBC spokesperson BizAsia.co.uk: “The BBC isn’t giving out individual talent figures – just an overall figure spent on talent by the BBC and it won’t be broken down any further than that.”