JEREMY Clarkson enjoyed a £3.2 million (A$5 million) payout from the company he set up to cash in on Top Gear before he sold his stake in the business to BBC Worldwide.
The television presenter secured a windfall of up to £15 million by selling his 30 per cent stake in the firm, Bedder 6, to the BBC's commercial arm recently - but not before getting the massive payout.
Mr Clarkson received a £2.7 million dividend from the company in the 12 months to April 2012, up from £1.8 million the previous year. He was also paid an inflated talent fee of £456,000 - a 30 per cent increase on his fee of £350,000 in 2011, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
These payments came on top of the fees the BBC pays the 52-year-old for his appearances on Top Gear, thought to be around £500,000 a year.
BBC Worldwide established Bedder 6 with Mr Clarkson and Andy Wilman, Top Gear's producer, in 2007 as a way of boosting income from the show without taking the money from the licence fee. The company cashes in by selling licences for Top Gear merchandise and international versions of the car show, with Mr Clarkson and Mr Wilman taking a slice.
But the corporation has since unravelled the deal, paying Mr Clarkson and Mr Wilman well in the process. Mr Clarkson will get more than £10 million for his share of the company, rising to £15 million depending on its performance, while Mr Wilman, who had a 20 per cent stake, will get up to £10 million.