Gay BBC presenter Graham Norton has suggested that licence fee payers should not be allowed to know how much television stars are paid.

Norton, who is thought to be on £2.5 million a year, told the Daily Telegraph he agreed that stars such as himself and Jonathan Ross are paid too much but said it was “rude” to publish salary details.

“We are overpaid, absolutely, but to have your salary publicised, that’s just rude,” he said, while attending an event at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea.

“I’m happy to admit we are paid too much, when you think about it, but why should people know the exact figures? It’s not right. I mean, we just don’t talk about how much we’re paid – I’m referring to people in general – we don’t talk about what we’re paid.”

He added: “People keep their salaries private, so why is it any different if you are on the TV?”

Last week, Norton’s agent quashed rumours he is planning to return to Channel 4 when his BBC contract ends in December.

Reports had claimed he would be taking over Paul O’Grady’s slot after O’Grady refused to take a pay cut.