BBC accounts have revealed Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson took home more than £14 million ($23 million) from his work with the motoring show last year after BBC Worldwide bought a controlling stake in a production company co-founded by the presenter.
According to reports from the UK, BBC accounts published this month show Clarkson netted a total of £14.26 million ($23.6 million) for the financial year just gone.
This comprised £1 million ($1.7 million) for his role as a presenter on Top Gear, £8.4million ($13.9 million) for his 30 per cent stake in the Bedder 6 production company he co-founded with Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, and another £4.86 million ($8.1 million) in a dividend payment.
A joint venture with BBC Worldwide, Bedder 6 was responsible for exploiting the Top Gear brand internationally, and has proved hugely successful since its start up in 2006.
A spokesperson for BBC Worldwide told The Telegraph that in five years the business grew its profits five-fold and its revenue to £149 million ($247 million).
“[The success] would not have been possible without the involvement of the show’s creative talent,” the spokesperson said.
"The deal also secured the future of the Top Gear brand for the BBC and BBC Worldwide and we now benefit from 100 per cent of its profit stream.”
The published accounts also reportedly revealed that the BBC spent £200 million ($331 million) on presenter salaries and "talent" last year, with 14 unnamed individuals paid between £500,000 ($829,000) and £5 million ($8.3 million).
By comparison, BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie pocketed £408,000 ($676,000) – up £59,000 ($97,800) on last year following his role being expanded to include that of acting director-general.
A source reportedly close to Jeremy Clarkson told The Telegraph the TV host’s pay reflected more than simply his role as a presenter.
"He doesn't just turn up and present, he does an awful lot behind the scenes from scripting to ideas," the source said.