How did Peter Kay make a fortune last year?

Peter Kay is Britain’s richest comedian. How did he do it?

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Peter Kay has made £1 million this year - taking his fortune to a stunning £25.5 million - and making him Britain's highest-earning comedian. The figures have been revealed by his company accounts, and it's an incredible result for a comedian who is thought to have taken a year off from stand-up.

Kay filed accounts for two of his companies - with figures up to March this year - and the Daily Mirror has reported that the companies are now worth a total of £25.5: up £1 million from last year. The profits included £813,404 from Good Night Vienna Productions (which Kay owns with his wife and is now worth £17.4 million) and Hussein Traders, which made £208,105, and is now worth £7.8 million.

This incredible earning power makes Kay Britain's biggest-earning comedian. He's ahead of Michael McIntyre - who is worth £21 million, and both have made far in excess of their nearest rival John Bishop - worth £6.3 million.

And Kay has achieved this during a 'year off'.

How has he done it?

Three major factors are at play here. The first is simply his enormous popularity. Kay is an instant bestseller - selling out tours in the blink of an eye, and topping the DVD charts for weeks on end. In 2011 and 2012, while he was undertaking his record-breaking tour and his DVD was freshly released, he racked up incredible profits of £32.8 million in the two year period.

These accounts are from the following year, so the fact that the long tail of DVD sales netted him £1 million should not come as a huge surprise. Even today, Play has listed his Tour That Didn't Tour DVD as the 18th best-selling stand up DVD - years after it was released.

The second factor is Kay's ambition. When he decided to perform for 15 nights at the London O2, no comedian had ever done it before, and there was widespread skepticism that he stood a chance of selling out the venue for so many nights. He became the first comedian ever to do so. He was a pioneer of the comedian mega-tour, and is reaping the benefits of his bravery.

The final factor is Kay's businesses sense. By having his own production company and merchandise business Kay can be sure he is involved in every stage of the money-making process, and doesn't lose large slices of his wealth to middle-men. He is clearly not only a huge comedian but big in the business world too.

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Peter Kay at the O2 Arena, London