Jeremy Clarkson ‘paid nothing’ as he details Top Gear salary ‘We were worst paid on set’

Jeremy Clarkson reveals he has opened up a farm shop

Jeremy Clarkson has carved out a great career for himself presenting Top Gear for 12 years from 1988 to 2000 before returning in 2002 to front the show alongside James May and Richard Hammond until 2015. After his exit, the trio of presenters went on to land a lucrative deal with Amazon Prime Video hosting The Grand Tour. Jeremy is reported to have a fortune of £44million but the presenter has revealed just how little he was paid when he first started out on Top Gear.

“For the first five years I was on Top Gear the most I earned was £180 in a year,” explained Jeremy, 60.

“People say BBC people are overpaid – we weren’t then.

“We got paid nothing, that’s for sure. While crews and producers would fly to locations I’d be expected to drive the car to the likes of Europe, we were seen very much as the bottom rung of the ladder, the worst paid on the set and so on.

“But it put us in front of seven million people a week which does put you on the radar.”

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While Jeremy is believed to make much of his fortune from his TV appearances, the presenter explained how he feels he is always working.

Speaking on the Andy Jaye podcast, he remarked: “It’s very easy to say, ‘How could you be paid £100,000 for an hour’s work?’

“Well, it isn’t an hour’s work because every single time you put your foot out the door, within a minute someone’s going to ask you a selfie.

“And it’s every minute, every restaurant you go to, every time you go for a wee in a motorway service station someone’s trying to take a picture of you at a urinal.

“It’s constant. You’ve giving over your life. You get paid a lot when you’re on television because you are expected to give over your entire life.

“If you’re an accountant and you put something on social media that’s deemed to be offensive nobody will pay any attention.”

Jeremy’s latest TV project is The Grand Tour: A Massive Hunt which sees him travel to Madagascar with James and Richard.

The special episodes dropped on Amazon Prime Video last week after fans of the trio waited over a year to watch their adventures.

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Co-host James recently revealed the presenters have to “tone down” their friction on set as no hostility could be shown.

“There’s genuine friction, we have to tone it down for television otherwise it wouldn’t be allowed,” James said, referencing the trouble the trio faced when tackling the “toughest” road in Madagascar.

“It was so hard to be honest to get up that road and we did, we did start to think that we, you know, we’ve been given something we actually wouldn’t be able to achieve which is a worry when you’re making a TV show because you have to you have to conclude the show in some way.”

James added the presenters actually got on much better than they usually do but he still enjoyed leaving Jeremy to struggle when his car got stuck on a beach.

He told TVMag: “I think it actually probably inspired an unusual level of camaraderie on this occasion, which you didn’t get so much in the Seamen.

“For example where the other two were quite happy to bugger off and leave me.

“Then I was quite happy to sail straight past Jeremy Clarkson when he was stuck on the beach because I didn’t care.”

The Grand Tour: A Massive Hunt is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now.

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