Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson Is The BBC's Biggest Earner

Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson

Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson

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If you believe that cynicism and snark can’t be turned into a lucrative career, perhaps you’ll want to rethink that position after we disclose Jeremy Clarkson’s approximate 2011 income from the BBC.

As reported in The Telegraph, Clarkson took home some 500,000 pounds ($781,150) in salary as the host of Top Gear, plus an additional 350,000 pounds ($546,805) in miscellaneous licensing fees.

His real income, however, came from royalties derived from Top Gear, which netted the irritable Englishman an estimated 2.7 million pounds ($4,218,210). Adding that up, Clarkson took home roughly $5,546,165 before taxes, which isn’t too shabby for hosting a show about cars that airs around 13 new episodes per year.

We’re not saying that Clarkson isn’t worth it, since his quick wit ensures a steady stream of profit for the BBC (and continued employment for dozens of BBC attorneys and PR staff). He’s also the most recognizable man in Britain (and, we’d argue in any part of the world that gets cable TV), so that alone is worth both money and ratings.

Still, we’re plenty cynical and sarcastic ourselves, and none of the High Gear Media staff would look worse on camera than Mr. Clarkson (conversely, none of us would look better, either). A quick show of hands illustrates that any one of us would be willing to give his job a try, for far less than $5.5 million.

We can’t guarantee the same kind of ratings that Clarkson pulls in, but we can pronounce “aluminum” and “Camaro” correctly, and would certainly cost the BBC less in legal expenses each year. If you want to speak with us, Top Gear producers, we’re easily found.

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Comments (17)
  1. Jeremy Clarkson is TopGear not even any of the other TG Series in all the other countries and their hosts' nor yourselves if given a try by the BBC will ever recreate the honest and oftentimes blunt assessments' with that dash of English wit and banter of Mr. Clarkson along with Mr. May and Mr. Hammond of the cars and guests' they have on the show.

  2. @gazzed, so you're a fan, then?

    My article was tongue-in-cheek, and I recognize that Clarkson is an irreplaceable talent. I'd still love to give it a go, even if it won't ever happen.

  3. Mr. Clarkson is a piece of work and yes I too was also born without a filter (look up my old handle) but with 6 billion folks on planet earth upsetting a few folks is hardly a luxury worth worrying about...... The trick is to feel no guilt, pick on everybody and every thing (although not Aston Martin or Jaguar if your Mr. Clarkson), show no malice, and try not to bite the hand that feeds you, other wise its fair game. Just ask those cry babies in your back yard over at Tesla.....

  4. Say 'aluminum' correctly? You need to be able to spell it correctly first!

  5. Well considering you folks left the island sporting your silver buckled shoes and are technically the "new people" it really is pronounced "al-you-mini-um", it was "our" language first!

  6. @alister, lol. Point well taken, sir.

  7. People still watch TV? lol, I got much better things to do..

  8. clearly - like type a pointless response?

  9. So, you're the comments police now.

    Moving along officer Mangled.

  10. 1 thing you fail to point out. Mr Clarkson actually owns the Top Gear franchise, it is his production company, which he sold 50% of to the BBC. The BBC have almost nothing to do with how it is made, and who presents it. May and Hamster are Clarkson's employee's. That is why Hammond had a show on ITV because he doesn't have a contract with the BBC.

  11. @Dom, interesting...

    Why was there a problem with the BBC when Clarkson wanted to strike a licensing deal with TomTom to use his voice on navigation systems? If Clarkson owned the rights, it would seem like a done deal.

    I'd be curios to know how much May and Hammond make for hosting the show, too. Given the cars they own, I'm sure they do alright for themselves.

  12. I love Top Gear UK and US!

  13. He does say aluminium correctly

  14. @Derek, lol. Yes, I'll give you that...

  15. must be the teeth.

  16. don't forget about "coo-pay" (coupe), "saloooon" (sedan), Jag-yew-are" (Jaguar... which us Americans pronounce as "jag-wire".
    I love it. One of the best shows ever. I wish they would have got better personalities for the stateside show cuz it's lame.
    Tanner Fousts show "supercars" was way better... wish that would come back.
    Top Gear UK is simply a fantastic show in every way. Not many shows do I laugh so hard yet am so intrigued by what they are doing or what they are driving.

  17. Oh yeah... don't they say "boot" for the trunk? LOL!
    Time to watch a Top Gear marathon

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