Comedian Dave Hughes was so shocked by the difference in pay between him and his long-time radio co-host Kate Langbroek that he took a pay cut to ensure she would get parity, it's been revealed.
The high profile radio duo chatted candidly about their contracts on their show on KIIS FM on Tuesday afternoon, after they replayed a clip from their show on International Womens Day in which Langbroek revealed a massive disparity in their earnings.
"You don't know about this," Langbroek said on air at the time. "I found out last year that you get paid 40 per cent more than I do for doing this show."
Hughes was audibly stunned.
"I had no idea what we get paid," he told Langbroek. "Now I feel terrible".
"You don't need to feel terrible," Langbroek told Hughes. "It wasn't your fault that you were born with two oranges in a string bag [testicles]".
"In all that time I have adored you, it's not about you, it's just about the recognition of us and what we do."
Hughes said on Tuesday he'd been left "reeling" after the discussion about their contracts earlier this year, admitting they had never discussed how much each of them was getting paid.
"We've never discussed money over our journey together," he said. "But now we do."
Once Langbroek found out about the massive pay difference last year, she raised it with her bosses at KIIS FM and was paid the same as Hughes for the remainder of the year.
This year, Hughes's salary had reportedly already been locked in, but when he found out about the disparity, he offered to take a pay cut so that Langbroek would get equal pay.
The longtime successful radio team currently host the national drive show on KIIS FM before they move to Southern Cross Austero's Hit drive slot nationally next year.
"Now, when we go to our new job, we get pay parity," Langbroek said on Tuesday. "And we're on parity now."
"And I couldn't be happier, obviously," Hughes said. "You deserve it".
"Sometimes that might mean men might get paid less than what they might have got to make sure that what's fair is fair."
The duo reflected on Hughes' decision to take a pay cut in the wake of Lisa Wilkinson's shock departure from the Today show on Channel Nine, partly due to the pay disparity with Karl Stefanovic.Langbroek implored more men to make a stand.
"You told them (network bosses) you wanted to be on parity this year with me, and Stefanovic presumably didn't,' Langbroek said.
"Now, I'm not saying he doesn't do more and that he doesn't deserve it...but what I'm saying is that if you're going to have a working partnership with someone, if you really care about women not being paid the same, men have to stand up and make it happen. Because men are the ones who are drawing up the pay packets, generally."