£250,000 - that's much it cost the BBC to hide its costs

A BBC battle to keep the salaries of Top Gear, EastEnders and Newsnight stars secret has helped clock up legal bills of almost £250,000.

The broadcaster called in highly-paid lawyers to find a loophole to avoid answering the questions under the Freedom of Information Act.

It has already spent £41,530 on barristers to keep the costs of the programmes secret and its lawyers have spent 55 days preparing cases to avoid releasing such information.

BBC's quarter of a million pound bill to keep pay secret
(Daily Mail, 8 June 2009)