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Jeremy Clarkson earns over £2m despite controversies

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Jeremy Clarkson

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Jeremy Clarkson earned more than £2m from the company established to maximise profits from the global exploitation of Top Gear, despite causing widespread public outrage over his controversial views.

According to The Guardian, accounts for Bedder 6 reveal that the company set up by Clarkson and Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman saw its pre-tax profits increase 68% year-on-year to £15.2m in the 12 months to the end of March 2011.

Bedder 6, which monetises Top Gear around the world via DVDs, live events, magazines and other outlets, increased its turnover by 23% last year to £40.6m.

Clarkson owns 30% of Bedder 6 and so is expected to have earned £1.79m from his share of the company's £5.95m dividend payments during the 12 months.

According to accounts filed at Companies House yesterday, Clarkson also received a £350,000 fee covering "payment for services" to Bedder 6, bringing his total remuneration package to £2.14m.

Bedder 6 paid out total dividends of £1.68m in 2010, earning Clarkson £850,000 and meaning that his income from the company has nearly tripled year-on-year.

A spokesman for BBC Worldwide highlighted that the profits made by Bedder 6 do not come from the BBC licence fee.

"Jeremy and Andy's roles in the business represent excellent value and they are getting much less than many others comparatively," he said.

"It's entirely normal for creative talent to participate in the commercial global success of a show and format like Top Gear."

BBC Worldwide owns just over 50% of Bedder 6, which was formed by Clarkson and Wilman in 2006. The Worldwide spokesman pointed out that the company's success brings money back into the BBC.

"In the four years since it was started, Bedder 6 has turned over more than £100m, and grown its profits almost five-fold, with the vast majority of this being returned to the BBC and reinvested back into the UK show," they said.

Clarkson, who is thought to earn around £1m from the BBC for Top Gear, recently prompted 32,000 complaints after saying on The One Show that striking public sector workers should be executed.

The 51-year-old has also caused controversy by seemingly making light of poverty and deprivation in India during a Top Gear special in the country.

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