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In addition to their work on the show, Clarkson and Wilman owned 50-percent of a company called Bedder 6, which owned the commercial rights to Top Gear. The BBC owned the other 50-percent of Bedder 6, but has decided it was in its best interest to buy out Clarkson and Wilman.
As BBC News points out, the move now gives the BBC full ownership of the Top Gear franchise, including all profits from book, video and syndication sales. While it’s not clear how much Jezza and Wilman cleared in the deal, we’re sure it’s more than enough to buy each a few dozen new cars, and probably new homes to keep them in.
Under the previous arrangement, Clarkson and Wilman received an annual dividend from Bedder 6, which worked out to be 2.7 million pounds (about $4.4 million) for Clarkson in 2012.
The new contract for Clarkson, Hammond and May calls for the trio to promote the show globally, so expect to see even more Top Gear branded events in key world cities in the coming years. For those of us who can’t get enough of Top Gear, we’d call that a good thing indeed.