While starting a new job is almost always tough, making more than you were before has a way of softening the blow. For the former Top Gear quartet of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, Richard Hammond, and Andy Wilman, said blow will be very, very soft indeed. According to multiple sources, Amazon will be paying the three hosts and executive producer far more handsomely than their former masters at the BBC.

Based on his new fee, it's widely believed that Jeremy Clarkson will become the highest paid television host in the United Kingdom. The Telegraph is reporting The Orangutan, as he's not so affectionately known by his cohosts, will make 9.6 million pounds or $14.7 million per year (at today's rates). That works out to about $1.225 million for each of the planned 36 episodes. Hammond, May, and EP Wilman will be making a smidge less, of course. The Daily Mirror claims they'll each make around $11 million a year, or about $915,000 per episode.

These figures are made more astonishing when you consider just how much theBBC, which is publicly funded by way of license fees, paid its hosts. Clarkson's pay has increased nearly tenfold, from the $1.53 million he made on Top Gear (part of which was paid by BBC Worldwide, the entity that raked around $230 million selling the rights to TG across the globe). And while Hammond and May are still making less than their loud-mouthed partner in crime, they've closed the gap compared to what they were being paid at the BBC, where Captain Slow and the Hamster received half of what Clarkson did.

Fans (and critics) of Clarkson, Hammond, and May will have to wait until next year to see if the huge sums of money being thrown around by Amazon are worth it.


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