Jeremy Clarkson Net Worth: Career And Controversies

By Emma Moylan

3rd September 2019

Jeremy Clarkson Net Worth: Career And Controversies

Jeremy Clarkson’s net worth is nearly as big as his ego. Love him or hate him, you’ve definitely heard of the man.

This English TV presenter and writer prefers the straight-talking, blunt approach and his gift of the gab tends to provoke a fair bit of public reaction.

We all know him best as one of the three presenters of Top Gear after he started presenting the show back in 1988.

But how did he get there? What are his biggest controversies? And what is Jeremy Clarkson‘s celebrity net worth?

What Was Jeremy Clarkson’s First Job?

Jeremy was actually born in Doncaster in 1960. His mum was a teacher and his father, Edward, a travelling salesman.

His parents wanted him to attend a private school and put his name down without being able to afford the fees.

They began selling Paddington Bear stuffed toys but without the intellectual property rights. As a result, Michael Bond – author of the Paddington books – took action through his solicitors and Edward Clarkson met with him in London.

Jeremy Clarkson young
Jeremy Clarkson as a child

Image Source/Daily Express

By chance, Edward ran into Bond in the lift on the way to the meeting. The two hit it off immediately and consequently, the Clarksons were awarded the rights to sell the bear. They eventually sold to the then-leading toy store Hamleys.

The income made from the sales then went towards sending Clarkson to private school.

Jeremy Clarkson followed in his parent’s footsteps for his first job, selling the Paddington Bear toys. It wasn’t until later that he trained to become a journalist.

What Is Jeremy Clarkson’s Net Worth?

The presenter has a net worth of around £46 million.

He recently came out with a statement, backing himself for the amount he has earned. The presenter cracked that the money doesn’t just cover work, it also covers fans shouting for selfies and for the public taking over his life.

How Did He Get There?

His Writing Career

Starting small, he wrote for the Rotheram Advertiser, Rochdale Observer, Wolverhampton Express and Star, Lincolnshire Life and Shropshire Star.

Writing his final column for Top Gear in 2015, he credited the Shropshire Star as the first paper to give him his first opportunity to write about motoring.

Young Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson as a young man

Image Source/Reddit

He said:

“I started small, on the Shropshire Star with little Peugeots and Fiats and worked my way up to Ford Granadas and Rovers until, after about seven years, I was allowed to drive an Aston Martin Lagonda… It was 10 years before I drove my first Lamborghini.”

In 1984, Clarkson and journalist Jonathan Gill started the Motoring Press Agency through which he conducted road tests for local newspapers and magazines.

This venture allowed him to write articles for Performance Car, spurring his career in the motoring industry.

Since, he has gone on to write columns for The Sunday Times and columns for The Sun.

His Move To Television

Moving into the realm of television, Clarkson shot to fame as one of the presenters on the show Top Gear. 

A man named Jon Bentley helped to launch his career. Bentley chose Clarkson for his personality and humour, saying:

“He was just what I was looking for – an enthusiastic motoring writer who could make cars on telly fun. He was opinionated and irreverent, rather than respectfully po-faced.

The fact that he looked and sounded exactly like a twenty-something ex-public schoolboy didn’t matter. Nor did the impression there was a hint of school bully about him.

I knew he was the man for the job. […] Clarkson stood out because he was funny. Even my bosses allowed themselves the odd titter.”

Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear

Image Source/Carbuzz

And Bentley was right. Alongside his co hosts James May and Richard Hammond, Top Gear became one of the most-watched TV show on BBC Two. Although people loved the line up of the trio, many credited Clarkson for making the show such a success and he soon became the BBC’s highest paid star.

Due to his rise to fame from the show, the presenter went on to make guest appearances on several other big hitting shows.

Notably, he appeared on Trinny and Susannah’s What Not To Wear after they said his fashion sense resembled a ‘market trader’. As much as the fashion-conscious duo tried to restyle and remake the motor enthusiast, it seems that Clarkson did not quite take to the experience as he said he would rather eat his own hair than make a second appearance on the show.

In 2004, Clarkson appeared on an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? The show delved into his family history and the story of his great-great-great grandfather, John Kilner, who invented the Kilner Jar; the glass jars with a metal clip top and rubber seal used to preserve fruit.

His Top Gear Dismissal

In 2015, it was announced that the BBC would not be renewing Clarkson’s contract meaning that he was to be booted of beloved show Top Gear.

The news came just after Clarkson had a tiff with producer Oisin Tymon after the presenter was allegedly annoyed by the lack of hot food and drink on the set.

Clarkson allegedly became verbally and later physically abusive towards the producer, attacking him for around 30 seconds.  Tymon was later taken to hospital to be treated for a swelled and cut lip.

After the incident was reported, it was decided to suspend the presenter. As a result, co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May refused to film Top Gear. The show was then put on pause.

Jeremy Clarkson net worth

Image Source/The Mirror

Despite various attempts by Clarkson to apologise to the producer – even knocking on his door to apologise – the BBC refused to dismiss his suspension.

A 15-day investigation concluded that Clarkson could not return.

Without him, Hammond and May refused to return despite rumours that the BBC offered to pay them around £4 million.

After months of finding a replacement, the producers chose Chris Evans as the new main presenter with Friends star Matt le Blanc as a co-host. Evans left the show after one series due to intense backlash from fans.

The Grand Tour

In 2016, the announcement came that Clarkson would be presenting a new car show on Amazon Prime alongside his two former Top Gear presenters.

Funnily enough, the format was similar to Top Gear. The team reviews of cars, has parts with a live audience and pre-recorded scenes.

Since then, he has even hosted the revival of the ITV quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Personal Life

In 1989, Jeremy Clarkson married Alex Hall but the marriage lasted only 6 months after she left him for one of his friends.

Clarkson remarried to Frances Cain (his manager at the time) in 1993. They lived in the Cotswolds with their three children until she filed for divorce in 2014.

Jeremy Clakrson wife Frances

Image Source/The Mirror


With a character as loud as Clarkson’s, it’s no surprise that the presenter has had a fair few controversies.

What are some of his most memorable moments?

Called Gordon Brown A One-Eyed Idiot

“We have this one-eyed Scottish idiot who keeps telling us everything’s fine and he’s saved the world and we know he’s lying, but he’s smooth at telling us.”

Burkas Don’t Work

“Honestly, the burka doesn’t work. I was in a cab in Piccadilly the other day when a woman in a full burka crossing the road in front of me tripped over the pavement, went head over heels and up it came, red G-string and stockings.”

Offending Mexicans

Clarkson joked that Mexican cars would reflect the qualities of the Mexican people. He said they are:

“just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat”

Jeremy Clarkson net worth 2019

Image Source/Time Magazine

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