Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is the BBC’s highest-paid presenter, taking home more than $4.5 million per year.
These figures put Clarkson in pole position ahead of radio and TV broadcaster Graham Norton and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker.
Clarkson’s earnings have come under fire from taxpayer groups but a source close to the outspoken star defended his pay.
“He works incredibly hard and makes an incredible amount of money for BBC Worldwide. Top Gear is what it is because of Jeremy,” the source said.
The bulk of his earnings are from Bedder 6, the company behind the commercial arm of Top Gear. He owns 30 per cent of the company making his share worth £2.7million while he takes home a fee of £350,000 and a separate ‘talent fee’ believed to be about £500,000.
The Guardian reported Bedder 6 was set up to allow Clarkson to benefit from the commercialisation of Top Gear without drawing large sums from the BBC’s licence fee.
Born on April 11th, 1960, Clarkson hosts the show along with James May and Richard Hammond. He also writes columns for The Sunday Times and The Sun.