Jeremy Clarkson has sold his rights to Top Gear to BBC. The TV presenter and the producer of the show Andy Wilman used to own up to 50% of the brand through Bedder 6, the company they co-own. After selling his stake, Clarkson has just become several million pounds richer.
Now, the BBC will get all the profits from Top Gear merchandise, which includes DVDs. Last year, the Top Gear brand made pre-tax earnings of up to £15.2 million. It is currently valued between £50 million and £100 million.
According to reports, Clarkson decided to sell his rights after encountering problems between him and his co-hosts on the show James May and Richard Hammond.
According to an insider, both May and Hammond ‘have watched Jeremy making a fortune out of the show for years’ and that he earned massively more than they did. The two Top Gear hosts felt that ‘they had been heavily involved in developing the show into the international success it has become’, so they deemed the initial arrangement unfair.
The new agreement involves a three-year contract wherein the three Top Gear hosts will continue to do the show. Each of them will earn a divided from the international earnings of the show, with the agreement that they will promote Top Gear all over the world.
The BBC, however, did not reveal the total amount it paid to Clarkson and Wilman during the time they were shareholders of the brand.
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