Car-azy! Clarkson and TV pals’ £29m payday as their Grand Tour firm winds up, leaving them with huge windfall
- DIARY EXCLUSIVE: Former Top Gear presenters in line for £29million pay day
- The UK presenters are selling television company they share with Andy Wilman
- Chump Holdings Ltd had a surplus of £28,927,645 after debts paid off in full
During their Top Gear days, they regularly featured a star in a reasonably priced car.
Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond may, however, want to look at upgrading the motor.
Three years after they joined Amazon Prime to create The Grand Tour, the three presenters are in line for a near-£30million windfall.
Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond may want to look at upgrading the motor
The huge pay day is due to the closure of a television company set up by Clarkson, 59, Hammond, 49, May, 56, and their executive producer Andy Wilman.
Chump Holdings Ltd was wound up last month and had a surplus of £28,927,645 after its debts had been paid in full. This included £24,715,708 cash in the bank. The company was established in October 2015 to make The Grand Tour, with a contract with Amazon Prime requiring the team ‘to start delivering a run of 12 programmes by October 1, 2016’.
Richard Hammond posts video from his hospital bed after a crash during Top Gear filming
The four men together were largely responsible for reviving Top Gear from its days as stuffy motoring show to one of the BBC’s flagship entertainment programmes. They each have a 25 per cent stake in the company.
The money is believed to be separate to the fees they received to deliver each series.
Clarkson, who split from his second wife Frances in 2015 and has been in a relationship with Lisa Hogan for two years, said last night: ‘This isn’t something I’d comment on. Thank you for asking. That’s unusual these days.’
Jeremy Clarkson filming The Grand Tour for Amazon TV. The four men together were largely responsible for reviving Top Gear from its days as stuffy motoring show to one of the BBC’s flagship entertainment programmes
Clarkson was sacked by the BBC in 2015 after he punched a producer who failed to provide a hot dinner. Following his acrimonious departure, a 46-page agreement was drawn up by lawyers to avoid confrontations in Chump Holdings’ business dealings.
The document detailed how ‘creative differences’ were to be decided and covered what was to happen if they chose to end their agreement. A source said at the time: ‘Jeremy is known for disagreements. It’s better to take these steps now so they can avoid things coming to blows later on.’
Three years after they joined Amazon Prime to create The Grand Tour, the three presenters are in line for a near-£30million windfall
This is the second substantial windfall Clarkson has received in a decade. In 2012, he received £8.4million when BBC Worldwide bought his 30 per cent stake in Bedder 6, a company he and Wilman had jointly established with the BBC to exploit Top Gear’s commercial potential. The payment was in addition to a £4.8million dividend, plus his presenter’s fees of nearly £1million.
Wilman and Clarkson have been friends since they attended Repton School. Wilman, who had a 20 per cent stake in Bedder 6, said recently: ‘I can put my hand on my heart and say the money goes on screen, rather than in our pockets.’
It comes after they announced there would be no more Grand Tour shows filmed in the studio, although the programme will continue to film one-off specials.