Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has said that co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May are unlikely to quit the show, despite their recent pay row.

Both May and Hammond – whose are out of contract on the show – have both asked for more money to put their salaries above Clarkson’s, since he earns extra for promoting Top Gear around the world.

So far the BBC has refused to meet the pair’s demands, although has offered them a pay increase.

However Clarkson told The Sun: “They won’t leave. It’s the best job in the world. I’d pay to do it.”

And a show insider told the paper that the programme would suffer if show bosses had to pay the presenters bigger wages.

“The BBC offered a good deal but neither of them are pleased,” the source said.

“They don’t seem to realise the BBC doesn’t have a bottomless pit of cash for Top Gear. The reason it’s so good is because most of the budget goes on screen. If you start giving all the cash to the hosts the show will suffer.”