Jeremy Clarkson stands by the fortune he was paid by the BBC during his reign as Top Gear presenter, which was estimated at £1 million per series.

The 59-year-old was the broadcaster’s highest-paid star with the license fee payer forking out millions to keep the motorhead and his two co-stars Richard Hammond and James May on the BBC’s then most lucrative export, Top Gear.

Clarkson went on to punch a producer over a steak, parted ways with the Beeb and came out the other side even wealthier by signing a reported £160 million deal to launch The Grand Tour with Amazon Prime.

But according to the controversial presenter, the hefty pay packets are well earned.

‘You get that for your entire life being taken over,’ he told The Times.

‘So when you look at all those BBC salaries that are published, you think, “You get that for an hour’s work.” No, you don’t. You get that for your entire life being taken over by, “Selfie! Selfie! Photo! Photo! Photo!” Somebody has to pay for that.’

In the case of ITV, he added: ‘It’s Tampax and Asda.’

Clarkson was recently named the most popular Top Gear presenter of all time in a poll by Radio Times while his successor Chris Evans missed out on the top 10 entirely

‘I’m overwhelmed, this is literally the 27th thing I’ve won, and it’s always special, but this is a particularly special moment,’ enthused Clarkson over his title.

Tim Glanfield, the editorial director of RadioTimes.com, added: ‘He’s certainly a divisive character, but when it comes to one show there seems to be little doubt in the minds of the British public – Top Gear means Clarkson.

‘It’s perhaps unsurprising that the three men who made the show a global hit won this particular race – but the sheer distance by which Mr Clarkson took pole position solidifies his place as the star in a car, reasonably priced or otherwise.

As for the Grand Tour, the team kicked off filming season four in Vietnam and Cambodia earlier this year, with May almost being killed at sea.

The Grand Tour is expected to return to Amazon Prime in 2020.

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