Jeremy Clarkson, host of Top Gear, is known for many things. He's arguably the most polite, unoffensive person... in the world. His consideration for people, countries, and causes is renowned. No, wait – that's wrong.

While he may be none of the things listed above, he is now known, for the second year in a row, we might add, as the highest-paid employee of the BBC. According to a post in The Guardian, Jezza raked in about $21 million last year from a few different sources.

Before our British readers get too outraged over the misuse of their license fees, it should be known that Clarkson's presenting fee, which is paid by the BBC's license fee, was only about one million pounds ($1.51 million at today's rates).

So where's the rest of the money from? Well, like most all wealthy folk, from a series of shrewd financial decisions. Clarkson, along with Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, set up a company called Bedder 6 to leverage the global brand created by the TV show. Setup alongside the BBC, Clarkson's 30-percent share brought him a 4.86-million-pound ($7.4 million) dividend cut last year.

In September, Clarkson sold his stake to the BBC, bringing in an additional 8.4 million pounds ($12.7 million). While the Top Gear star's income might be rage-inducing for British citizens forced to endure an economy that is far from recovered, it should be noted that Clarkson wasn't the only one making sound financial decisions. For the 16.2 million pounds ($24.6 million) the BBC paid for the 50 percent of Bedder 6 it didn't already own, it's already recouped 7.5 million pounds ($11.39 million). The BBC is also receiving 100 percent of the profits from the Top Gear name and associated properties.

There's even some good news for car fans here. According to a BBC spokesman, "The deal also secured the future of the Top Gear brand for the BBC and BBC Worldwide." Along with news of renewed contracts, that should mean many more years of automotive shenanigans. And on that bombshell, it's time to end.


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  • 61 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      desf
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder what's behind the decision of selling his stakes to BBC for such small amount of money (comp[ared to profits). Are they going to end top gear? Or did BBC gave them some offer they could not refuse?
      DRAGON
      • 1 Year Ago
      He totally deserves it. The show is amazing and fun and even people not into cars enjoy it.
      thenewrick
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good stuff
      Alex
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is it weird that I just read that in Clarkson's voice?
      Gorgenapper
      • 1 Year Ago
      When I read this article, I ony thought that he can buy any car he wants and enjoy it to the limit. Dream job right here guys...review cars, travel, have fun, make outrageous comments and be internationally (in)famous...and still get paid.
      Svartorn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Clarkson has always been my favorite on the show. Those guys have the best job in the world.
      RetrogradE
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good for Mr. Clarkson. An enemy of Tesla is a friend of mine. And, I like TG. I think Clarkson is a straightforward, well-minded gent who loves cars and gets paid for it. If I could only be so lucky. . .
      Joel
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is pretty pathetic that the writer of this article automatically assumes that the brits should be angry at Jezza for being successful. I come to autoblog.com to read about cars and trucks and motorcycles, not to read about class warfare and jealous peoples false assumption that rich people owe them something.
        RGT881
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joel
        Ever rear Clarkson's op-ed pieces in The Times? Hatred and jealousy of the rich is alive and well in UK.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joel
        The BBC is a government affiliated organization. So the british people should care about how much the BBC is paying its stars. No different than you being concerned about how much your congressman is paid.
        frostillicus80
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joel
        Thank you!! This site has a ridiculously huge hard on for Clarkson. I don\'t see them posting articles about annual salaries for any other car show presenters; or even any F1 or NASCAR drivers... I really don\'t know how this was even considered a news-worthy post to begin with.
          jtav2002
          • 1 Year Ago
          @frostillicus80
          Jeremy Clarkson > Nascar
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joel
        [blocked]
        rocketmoose
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joel
        It's funny - I'm British and braced myself before coming onto the comment thread for complaints about OVERPAID CHIMP, PUBLIC MONEEYYY etc. The author's tone is spot-on because of that. There is a very, very loud segment of the British population that despise the BBC and so the disarming phrasing is good.
      Sharpie
      • 1 Year Ago
      he is worth every penny of it
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        aatbloke1967
        • 1 Year Ago
        The BBC has owned TG since its inception as a regional programme in 1977.
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Mike Pulsifer
        • 1 Year Ago
        "21 Millions sounds just about right for somebody that works in the BBC ivory towers isolated from the real world that why all you see on Top Gear is top of the range Ferrari, Jaguars & Aston Martin nothing that the masses mere mortals will ever buy or drive, but have to pay the lions share of massive BBC massive wage bills by law." ...ummm "Hot Hatch" episode?
          Mike Pulsifer
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Mike Pulsifer
          @Reggie ...and I've seen them profile and/or drive #s 1,2,3,4,5,6, and 10. Not sure about 8. So, what's the complaint again?
        avconsumer2
        • 1 Year Ago
        pfft. At least you've got decent programming on the BBC. I dare you to watch U.S. PBS for an hour, I DARE you. Not a decent car show within AT LEAST 20 channels. Also, how much of that is the Government's / Queens / EU's cut? He probably pulls... what... 7-8 mil free and clear? Not really super crazy for an international super star who is on a show syndicated in over 170 different countries with 350+ million viewers per week. Also... Top Gear doesn't buy all those cars. (?)
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