It's the NOTW so they will have massively overblown the story. As has been said the contract will be a few years old now and he will get a massive payrise, possibly not up to Hammond and JC pay but he will get at least a 10 fold increase I would think.
As has been said, without May the show just wouldn't be the same. In circumstances like this usually i say screw celebrities, they get enough money already but ?40k is absolutely nothing! I get paid nearly that much and i'm nobody! It's no wonder poor James thinks a curry and a Ginsters pastie is exotic, whereas Clarkson and Hammond are probably sharing a bottle of 50 year old port at their respective mansions lol
Have you noticed how the British members of this forum are not really taking this story seriously? Yet the non-British - who don't realise what a criminal waste of trees the News of the World is are getting 'animated'.
Actually on thinking about it, it doesn't make sense.
When the new Top Gear started, I could see Clarkson getting that much because the show was going to depend on him to get going again. But Richard was the newboy, and even in the 2003 series when James came along, the new series wasn't exactly an institution yet. So why would Richard be being paid a lot more than James at this point?
On a slightly different point, do the presenters get payments from the repeats on UKTV G2 and BBC Three? IF so, even James should be minted from those!
Do Clarkson and Hammond each get 1,000,000 pounds total or individually?
Both sound unrealistic. I would assume Clarkson gets the bigger end of the stick, but a million pounds is a lot of money. 500K sounds reasonable though. For Hammond, 500K still sounds like a lot of money.
Im sure there is some truth to what the news of the world has written, even if it is usually full of crap!
James has always come accross as the poor one of the bunch just from the cars they buy and the way they live so the ?40,000 a year is probably about right.
Richard had just signed an exclusive contract with the bbc (no more brainiac or itv daytime!) just before he had the accident, so that's probably why he is on the same pay as JC.
I'm sure james will get a similar contract to hammond, after all we know just how much the show means to the bbc from their responce after the jet crash. They sell it all over the world so they can definatly afford to pay james what he deserves.