Clarkson is worth every penny
Sean Carson highlights why Jeremy Clarkson – the BBC’s highest paid employee – is worth every penny of his sizeable salary
Just think what you could do with over £3 million per year. Even with post credit-crunch interest rates at rock bottom, you could still happily live without touching your capital.
Now imagine if you were paid that each year for hooning around in the fastest, most exotic and rarest vehicles around. You’d be cock-a-hoop. So why is it that we lambast Jeremy Clarkson for doing just that?
According to reports in the Guardian, Clarkson is “easily the highest-paid BBC star.” The lead presenter of Top Gear netted around £3.5 million in 2011 thanks to a sizeable dividend from his commercial interest in Bedder 6 – the company that exploits the commercial aspect of Top Gear, of which he owns 30% – combined with a £500,000 chunk of the licence fee.
Majority of his salary doesn't come from fee-paying customers
Many are outraged that Clarkson gets a share of the spoils from a programme produced with TV licence payers’ money. But due to the way the series is produced, the majority of his salary doesn’t come from fee-paying customers.
The show is one of the Beeb’s biggest exports with a rumoured viewership of 350 million per week in over 170 different countries worldwide. If it takes more money than it costs to make – which it certainly does – then why not reward the main protagonists?
Plus, Top Gear is funny because of him. He’s entertaining, and to say Clarkson is an outspoken character is an understatement. The furore over the public workers remark proves people want to read about him, whether it’s good or bad.
More deserving of his mega bucks than the bankers
He angers many much of the time, but we all love to watch him just to see if we’re going to catch another politically incorrect poke at lorry drivers or Mexicans.
Clarkson is arguably more deserving of his mega bucks than the Libor rate-fixing bankers of this world. He works hard, delivers programmes people want to watch and other networks want to buy.
Without him there’d be no Dave channel and a whole gaggle of second-rate satellite stations around the globe would go bust.
It’s a lot, £3.5 million, but he hasn’t broken any rules to earn that kind of dosh. Instead, he’s worked hard, played up to his strengths and taken them for what they’re worth. Who can begrudge him of that?
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