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BBC Breakfast reporter Steph McGovern has said the corporation has a problem with class, and that "posh" presenters earn more than her.

"Throughout my career I've had to argue about [pay]," Middlesbrough-born McGovern told The Sunday Times.

"It's not as simple as a gender issue, it's partly down to class.

"There are a lot of women who do a similar job to me who are paid a hell of a lot more… who are a lot posher than me."

McGovern, a business reporter and occasional main host on the morning programme, is also seen on Watchdog, Shop Well For Less and Pocket Money Pitch.

She said she had received a pay rise following the recent BBC gender pay gap row and had "just now" reached a six-figure salary.

She told the paper: "We concentrate too much on ethnic diversity and not enough on class.

"It's dead important to represent loads of different cultures. But what the BBC doesn't do enough of is thinking about getting people from more working-class backgrounds. It's just posh."

The presenter added that "a lot of people in management are from the same background".

She said: "We're talking about, 'How do we represent more working class people?' when they themselves are not working class. So how do they know?"

McGovern also recounted an incident where a manager told her she was "too common" to be a BBC presenter.

Last July, when the corporation published the names of presenters who earned more than £150,000, two BBC Breakfast hosts were on the list – Dan Walker (who also fronts Football Focus) in the £200,000-£249,999 bracket and Naga Munchetty on £150,000-£199,999.

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A BBC spokesperson said more than 80% of the BBC's workforce was educated in state schools and the BBC is "more diverse than it has ever been".

The statement added: "The BBC has a clear commitment to finding and developing new talent.

"We offer hundreds of apprenticeships to ensure the BBC is open to people from all backgrounds and a range of programmes to help people develop their career once they've joined.

"But there's always more to do and we have an ambitious diversity strategy which sets out our commitment to fully reflecting and representing the whole of the UK."

On Twitter, McGovern added that she had done the interview with the paper to talk about her work with Young Enterprise, a charity that helps young people learn about business.

"Towards the end of the interview I was asked about BBC pay and culture," she wrote. "I said I thought that the issue wasn't just about gender, but also about class.

"I also said that we talk a lot in the BBC about how to be better at ethnic diversity, which is important because we're not good enough at it. However we never talk about class and I suggested that if we did it would make us more diverse in lots of ways, including ethnicity.

"I am in a very fortunate position; I love my job and never dreamed I would have such an amazing career and salary. I grew up in Middlesbrough, a town that is often portrayed in a negative light, but one I love.

"I want the people I grew up with and everyone from a place deemed as 'poor' to know that they should never be held back from achieving the best in life and they should be proud of where they're from. That's it."

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