Casualty actor Tom Chambers has apologised after he was criticised for appearing to defend the BBC pay gap. The 40-year-old suggested that men should earn more than women because they have families to support - he has since retracted the comments. In a statement issued to Mirror Online, Tom said: "I am completely mortified by the stories that have run today and didn't mean to offend anyone by my comments which have been taken out of context from a conversation I had at a book launch."
Tom Chambers has apologised after he appeared to defend the BBC pay gap
He added: "I in no way advocate the gender pay gap and I was explaining that I thought it had stemmed from that past, and shouldn't be how things are now. I truly believe that change needs to happen." HELLO! Online has contacted a representative for the star for comment. Although Tom didn't appear on the BBC pay gap list, which was revealed last week, the actor defended Derek Thompson's pay check. His Casually co-star earns between £350,000 and £399,000 for playing nurse Charlie Fairhead on the BBC soap.
STORY: Ant and Dec's salaries are worth more than the entire BBC £150k payroll combined
During a chat with The Sun, Tom claimed that Derek deserves every penny because he "earned his credits like a footballer" having worked on the show for decades. "I've just done six months on Casualty, but Derek has done 31 years of service," he explained. "That means arriving in the dark at 6am and leaving when it's dark at 9pm. It's demanding stuff." The former Strictly star then added: "My wife works really hard as a stay-at-home mum, but I'm the only one bringing in a salary for our family. Many men's salaries aren't just for them, it's for their wife and children, too."
The 40-year-old suggested that men should earn more than women
STORY: The BBC's highest-paid stars revealed!
Social media went into overdrive after the comments were made, with one writing: "It's so simple, get paid for the work/job you do, it shouldn't come down to if you're married or have children." Another said: "#TomChambers many women are the only earners in their families, don't they deserve a higher rate of pay too." A third post read: "It is entirely beyond the wit of Tom Chambers that some mothers stay at home whilst father works precisely *because* of the gender pay gap."