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Jeremy Clarkson TV firm made £8m profit after Amazon's Grand Tour

The Guardian logo The Guardian 14/07/2017 Mark Sweney
Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson on The Grand Tour.: Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson on Amazon’s The Grand Tour. © AFP/Getty Images Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson on Amazon’s The Grand Tour.

The TV company set up by Jeremy Clarkson and his fellow former Top Gear hosts has made more than £8m in profits following the first season of their big budget Amazon show The Grand Tour.

In 2015, Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May and Andy Wilman, the former Top Gear executive producer, signed a three-series deal to create a rival to the hit BBC2 motoring show for a reported £160m.

The team then set up W Chump & Sons – a combination of their names – which has filed accounts providing the first insight into the lucrative deal. 

The first series of the Grand Tour, which smashed Amazon video viewing and TV subscriber sign-up records, ran for 13 episodes starting in November and ending in February.

The accounts show that W Chump & Sons made £8.39m in pre-tax profits from the point of incorporation in November 2015 to the end of last year.

The post-tax profit the company made – effectively the funds in the pockets of the shareholders – came to £6.7m. The company paid £1.67m in UK corporation tax.

“The profit was driven by television programming produced during the period ended 31 December 2016,” said the company in its accounts. “The directors are keen to continue focusing on producing quality programming whilst ensuring that the company’s overheads are kept stable. The directors are satisfied with the results for the year end and will continue to pursue business opportunities as they arise in the future.”

The business reported £35.33m in turnover with nearly all of that referred to as related to the “terms of a commissioning agreement”.

This would indicate that it is the funds paid by Amazon for at least the first series to be made, which means that the overall value of the three-series deal appears to be significantly lower than the £160m reported.

Amazon, which has just launched the trailer for the second series of The Grand Tour, declined to comment on the commercial terms of the deal with Clarkson and his partners.

The company employed 20 staff, excluding the four directors, with a total wage bill of £3m.


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