$$$Andy Wilman and Jeremy Clarkson in the money$$$

TurnerGTX

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The BBC has entered into a business partnership with Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson in what is believed to be an unprecedented deal with an on-screen star.

BBC Worldwide, the corporation's commercial arm, has taken a controlling stake in a company set up by Clarkson and Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, MediaGuardian.co.uk has learned. The BBC is understood to have paid a nominal fee of ?100 for the stake.

Clarkson is one of the BBC's highest paid stars and reportedly signed a new deal earlier this year to stay with Top Gear.

It is understood that before he re-signed with the BBC Clarkson was being wooed by both ITV and American Idol creator Simon Fuller.

At the time the BBC was concerned that if Clarkson left Top Gear, the show - a brand that BBC Worldwide is pushing globally - would be seriously damaged and international revenues would be hit.

A BBC Worldwide spokesman said: "In relation to the company [Bedder 6], BBC Worldwide decided to enter into a commercial arrangement to better exploit the commercial potential of Top Gear, predominantly internationally.

"This benefits the licence fee payer in the long run and means increased revenues are being invested back into programme making."

In addition to the presenter's salary Clarkson receives from the public service wing of the BBC, which makes Top Gear for BBC2, he also signed a deal with BBC Worldwide in May to market the brand in return for a share of the profits from spin-off commercial activity.

However, it has now emerged that last November BBC Worldwide took a stake in Clarkson and Wilman's company, Bedder 6, in a move that gives the pair a direct personal stake in the Top Gear brand.

BBC Worldwide owns just over 50% of Bedder 6, which was created by Clarkson and Wilman two years ago, according to documents filed at Companies House.

It is understood that Bedder 6 will be used as the main channel for the profits for Top Gear merchandising and some of the other commercial activities relating to the hit BBC2 motoring show, including foreign sales of the original UK production.

With Clarkson and Wilman owning 3,000 shares and 2,000 shares respectively in the company, they will be entitled to a share of the money from some of Top Gear's revenues.

Clarkson is the most high profile of Top Gear's three presenters, the others being Richard Hammond and James May, while Wilman has also played a key part in the success of the programme.

Wilman has worked with Clarkson since the late 1990s on shows such as Extreme Machines, in addition to Top Gear.

Unlike Clarkson, though, he has not made a significant amount from the show and is a member of BBC staff, listed as an executive producer in the corporation's factual and learning department.

The plan to give Clarkson and Wilman a greater say in Top Gear and a share of its profits appears to have been put in motion last autumn.

In November 2007 BBC Worldwide's headquarters in West London became the registered office for Bedder 6 - a vehicle set up by the Top Gear presenter and his executive producer in 2006. It is not known why the pair initially created the company.

Subsequently, three BBC Worldwide executives were made directors of Bedder 6: the BBC Commercial company secretary, James Stevenson, BBC Worldwide director of content and production Wayne Garvie, and BBC Magazines finance director Kevin Langford.

BBC Worldwide was then allotted 5,001 shares in Bedder 6 - giving it the majority stake in the company - though it is not known how much it paid for them.

The BBC's commercial arm also has 5,000 deferred shares, so if these shares are converted, the corporation could end up with two thirds of the business.

One source familiar with the deal said the move helped persuade Clarkson to stay with the BBC.

The source added that Clarkson and Wilman were now "brand guardians", working alongside BBC Worldwide directors to ensure the various versions of Top Gear and associated merchandise being rolled out around the world remain faithful to the BBC2 original.

"This is putting Jeremy at the heart of it. Before he had no real involvement in the other things going on around around the Top Gear brand," the insider said.

"This gives the business a P&L [profit and loss] in its own right. This is about pulling together the fragmented pieces to run it [Top Gear] as a single brand. It is rare that the BBC has run a brand on an 'end-to-end' basis like this."

Over the past 18 months, BBC Worldwide has embarked on an aggressive expansion drive, both in the UK and globally.

It has bought shares in independent TV companies such as The Queen co-producer Andy Harries' Left Bank Pictures, as well as buying a 75% stake in travel guides publisher Lonely Planet.

Top Gear is a success abroad, with broadcasters in the US, where the NBC network signed a deal in March, and Australia making their own versions.

Along with Lonely Planet, it is part of BBC Worldwide's new "global brands" business, headed by managing director Marcus Arthur.

The programme is often in the headlines - most recently for being censured by the BBC Trust for showing presenters drinking whilst driving during a special Polar episode.

The show also attracted media attention over a new pay deal for May and Hammond.

It is thought the new deal negotiated by co-host Jeremy Clarkson in June led to May and Hammond seeking better terms. They are now understood to have agreed to sign new deals to stay with Top Gear.

Clarkson's agent declined to comment.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/aug/08/jeremyclarkson.bbc?gusrc=rss&feed=uknews

No wonder Hamster & May wanted a pay rise.:|
 

Red_Bull

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Who cares. No, seriously. They're probably doing fantastically well and its great for them, but at the end of the day, its their business what they earn, in keeping with the rules of supply and demand. Upyourego would know more about this sort of stuff though.
 

pepitko

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good for them, although I hate getting into someone's private matter such as salary. But they've created a wonderful show and brand and deserve the benefits of their success. If they are earning GBP 20,000 per episode as was reported a couple of weeks ago, they are underpaid IMHO. Any newcomer actor in US could make as much for a 20 minute sitcom..
 

Richmondgal

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You have to remember that it's these two who started the Top Gear revolution 6 years ago. It had taken a while to get up there, but it's paid off and no wonder why they are getting so much for their work.
 

fbc

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Who cares. No, seriously. They're probably doing fantastically well and its great for them, but at the end of the day, its their business what they earn, in keeping with the rules of supply and demand.

/thread.

Well said.
 

Tranquillizer

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fuck, another one of those stupid threads. why i wana know someone;s bank balance.
i demand :nazilock:
 

Adunaphel

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What a rubbish article, it contradicts itself, repeats information at least 3 times differently, it's impossible to take it seriously. But i wouldn't expect anything else from a British newspaper article on TG
The BBC is understood to have paid a nominal fee of ?100 for the stake.
BBC Worldwide was then allotted 5,001 shares in Bedder 6 - giving it the majority stake in the company - though it is not known how much it paid for them.
It's clear that they have no clue about the details of the deal and what the deal actually signifies, do they're just shooring in the dark at random, as usual.
 

otispunkmeyer

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more power to em

JC and Wilman worked hard to re-create top gear and bring it back to BBC2 as one of the best shows ever produced for TV. you only have to look at the viewing and torrent figures to see its one of the most watched shows in the world.

they've pulled it off with resounding success, so why shouldnt they now reap the benefits. good one my sons!
 

MWF

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Discussing what other people earn is unseemly, undignified and un-British and I refuse to get involved.

:dancinglock:
 

Labcoatguy

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Discussing what other people earn is unseemly, undignified and un-British and I refuse to get involved.

:dancinglock:

No longer a "nation of shopkeepers", I take it?
 

NooDle

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erm, so what? does anyone want to know how much they make, and how they make it?
unless there's some easy way to get access to large amounts of monies, I don't really give a rat's ass...
 

controlspecimen

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What's the problem? Same thing with CEOs that people complain about--it takes a lot of money to attract top talent.
 

j8mie

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Fair play to the guys, they have a product people want, and they should be paid accordingly for it. Why as a a nation do we like to moan about the successful businessman.

It's funny how a lot of people I've spoken to are unhappy with how much Clarkson is rumoured to be getting paid. Yet Top Gear is a very strong brand for the BBC Worldwide, and I don't doubt they make a fair bit of money selling TG over the Globe.

If you don't like talking about how much other people earn folks...........don't read these threads. Although I have to agree there have been a few too many of late.
 

janstett

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They have something great, and I'm all for them reaping the rewards of their hard work (as long as they don't lose sight of what they're doing and "sell out").

Too often networks squash the creativity of their talent and ruin a good thing. Too often a hit show doesn't equate to financial success for its creators. "Beavis and Butthead" -- MTV gave the creator virtually nothing and he just stopped, as an example.
 

The Chad

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Whoa, people are in the business to make money? Shocker there!
 

LP

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Mun....ney? What is this munney?

This is like the 20th thread we've had on this subject, and I'd like to relate a story about it, so that it could finally die.

I had a friend back in 7th grade, skateboardin dude, pretty cool guy to hang out with, cool friends and whatnot. He came over to our house, we played some vid games, rode our bikes and chilled out, and then it was time to drop him off at home.

As he was directing my dad, I noticed we'd entered a completely different looking neighborhood, something I've never even seen before. There was lush green landscaping everywhere, nice cars, palm trees... we were entering the rich area of La Jolla. We drive into the complex and there's a massive ornamented gate, and he calls his parents from the nearby monitor + telephone to open it. We drive in and he says the right side, the big white house with the 3 mercedes outside the garage. I'd never seen anything like it before, it was fucking HUGE. It had Corinthian pillars, completely decked out and facing the ocean. There were a total of 8 Mercedes benzes in the garage, it was nuts. His dad told us that it cost him $5 million. And here me and my parents are... in debt, poor, couldn't even afford a proper car (bought some used one for like $2000, and even that was a stretch). Couldn't barely afford to live in our 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condo apt. Grant, my friend, didn't complain about me being poor, didn't care, didn't say anything, he was chill.

It just goes to show you, its not the amount of money a person has, its their personality.
And the trio do their job on top gear well and they're great people. Why should it be a big problem if they're earning a good amount of money? It should bother you if they're earning $20 per show, aka if they're getting paid unfairly/underpaid. It shouldn't bother you if they're earning millions.
 

Serious

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As long as the quality of the show is first and money is second in their priorities list then who cares how much they make.
 
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