Pay rise for Top Gear pair

Top Gear stars Richard Hammond and James May have landed a pay rise of £10,000 per show, according to the papers.

The Sun reports that Hammond had been looking for more than double his £15,000 per show fee while May wanted his £10,000 fee to be trebled.

The pair began demanding the pay rises to bring their earnings more in line with those of co-host Jeremy Clarkson, who makes extra cash promoting Top Gear around the world.

But bosses ultimately told them either to accept salaries between £20,000-£25,000 – or quit the show.

“It’s no secret there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing,” an insider told the paper.

“Their agents wanted them to get a larger slice of the pie but the BBC only had a finite amount it was prepared to offer. The Beeb and the agents have finally found some common ground and contracts should be signed within days.”

Earlier this week James May told Radio Five Live he hoped to sign his contract soon.

“I have never stormed off over money or contracts,” he added. “I have never seen Richard storm off either.”

Clarkson said a few weeks ago that he did not believe either presenter would quit over the pay dispute.

“They won’t leave,” he said of his fellow trong>Top Gear hosts. It’s the best job in the world – I’d pay to do it.”