Clarkson bagged more than £14 million from Top Gear last year

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Clarkson bagged more than £14 million from Top Gear last year

The Top Gear frontman enjoyed a bumper payday last year as it has been revealed he netted almost £14 million from the popular automotive show.

Clarkson received a £4.6 million dividend from Bedder 6, the company he set up with producer Andy Wilman to exploit Top Gear's commercial potential without syphoning funds away from the licence payer.

He received an additional £8.4m for his 30% stake in Bedder 6, after the BBC struck a deal in September to take full control of the company, and is understood to have received around £1 million salary for fronting Top Gear (which is funded by the licence fee).

"No licence fee income was used by BBC Worldwide to pay the exiting shareholders of Bedder 6 in 2012," said a spokesman for BBC Worldwide.

"In just five years the business grew its profits five-fold (and its revenue to £149m), which would not have been possible without the involvement of the show's creative talent. The deal also secured the future of the Top Gear brand for the BBC and BBC Worldwide and we now benefit from 100% of its profit stream."

BBC Worldwide revealed that Top Gear USA was the second best-selling programme around the globe, shipping to 174 territories and only losing out to David Attenborough's Africa in the popularity stakes.

Following the sale of Bedder 6, Clarkson and his co-presenters, Richard Hammond and James May, have been put back on a straightforward talent contract.

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