The presenter sparked 32,000 complaints for comments on striking workers
Jeremy Clarkson earned more than £2 million from the global profits of Top Gear in the year that saw him cause public outrage.
Bedder 6, the company set up by Clarkson and executive producer Andy Wilman to maximise profits from the global exploitation of the motoring show saw its pre-tax profits increase 68% year-on-year to £15.2 million to the end of March 2011, according to The Guardian.
The company, which monetises Top Gear around the world through DVDs, live events, magazines and other spin-offs, increased its turnover by 23% to £40.6 million. Clarkson owns 36%, and so is expected to have made £1.79 million from his share of £5.95 million dividend payments. An additional £350,000 for “payment to services” to Bedder 6 brings his total payday from the company alone to £2.14 million. He is thought to earn £1 million from the BBC for hosting Top Gear itself.
However, a spokesperson for BBC Worldwide pointed out that profits from Bedder 6 do not come from the license fee, saying: “Jeremy and Andy’s roles in the business represent excellent value and they are getting much less than others comparatively. It’s entirely normal for creative talent to participate in the commercial global success of a show and format like Top Gear.
BBC Worldwide owns just 50% of Bedder 6, which was formed by Clarkson and Wilman in 2006. The spokesman pointed out: “In the four years since it was started, Bedder 6 has turned over more than £100 million, and grown its profits almost five-fold, with the vast majority being returned to the BBC and reinvested back into the UK show.”
Clarkson prompted 32,000 complaints after saying on The One Show that striking public sector workers should be executed.