Last month, Jeremy Clarkson and the rest of the former “Top Gear” gang signed a monster deal with Amazon to create a new car show.
According to the FT, sources say the deal signed by the former hosts of the popular BBC car show calls for Amazon to sink a reported $US250 million into 36 episodes over three years.
Now, we know how much lead host Jeremy Clarkson will be paid for his troubles.
In a report by the Telegraph’s Lucy Clarke-Billings, sources say the bombastic TV personality will earn roughly $US46 million over the life of the contract.
As a result of the Amazon deal, Clarkson is now one of the highest paid TV hosts in Britain.
According to the Telegraph, Clarkson’s Amazon show will receive a budget of around $US7 million a episode.
That’s a considerable bump over “Top Gear’s” $US1.5 million per show budget which was one of the largest on the BBC.
The 22nd season of “Top Gear” ended abruptly in March after only seven of the nine planned episodes had aired because of the suspension and subsequent dismissal of Clarkson.
Co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May followed Clarkson out the door by voluntarily declining to renew their respective BBC contracts, which expired in April. Andy Wilman — “Top Gear’s” longtime executive producer and close friend of Clarkson — also left the BBC after the host’s dismissal.
The network’s decision to part ways with the polarising TV personality came after an internal BBC inquiry found Clarkson had punched a “Top Gear” producer when he failed to obtain a hot steak dinner after a long day of filming.
The fracas with the producer came after a controversy-filled 2014 for Clarkson, who was mired in scandal stemming from accusations of racist, sexist, and culturally insensitive comments.
Prior to his dismissal, Clarkson had spent nearly three decades with the BBC as a host on “Top Gear” and is credited with being the driving force behind the show’s explosive international success.
In June, the BBC introduced radio DJ Chris Evans as the new front man for “Top Gear.” As a result, the 23rd season of the “Top Gear” will most likely feature a lineup of all-new hosts and be the first to not feature Jeremy Clarkson since 2000. Clarkson made his first appearance on “Top Gear” in 1988 and presided over the show’s transformation from an automotive news magazine to its current entertainment-centric format.
With more than 350 million weekly viewers, “Top Gear” set the Guinness World Record as the most watched factual TV program in the world. In addition to the UK show, the “Top Gear” brand includes numerous international spinoffs, a live stadium tour, merchandising, a successful magazine, and a website.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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