50 (48=) Jasper Carrott £60m (£50m)
When Jasper Carrott signed the contract to present the ITV quiz show GoldenBalls, he is on record as saying he thought the sums on offer for the job were in Italian lire.
Such is the draw of the 62-year-old Acocks Green-born funny man that he can command big bucks. He could do much more TV and stage work but he turns away projects if they threaten to lower the high standards he has set himself.
GoldenBalls, which first aired in April last year, was a surprise success to many, but it was less of a surprise to makers Endemol, who also produce Deal or No Deal and know a thing or two about simple formula quiz shows.
Last year Jasper Carrott - who was the second person behind fellow Rich Lister Ozzy Osbourne to be immortalised with his star in Broad Street’s Walk of Stars - announced that he was going to take things a little easier. Well there’s not much sign of that.
As well as 60 episodes of GoldenBalls he is fronting a new interactive pub quiz service launched towards the end of last year. Jasper Carrott - real name Robert Davis - is one of the backers of London-based Innterplay, and sits on its board as a non-executive director. Innterplay received its broadcasting licence from Ofcom last summer.
Innterplay broadcasts a live pub quiz - Cash Inn - to around 500 pubs around the country on Sunday nights. Pub-goers, with wireless keypads, relay their answers to the Cash Inn studio for cash prizes, playing against other pubs. The service was developed from an idea at Jasper Carrott’s former production company, Celador.
His annual Rock With Laughter show at the NEC just before Christmas was another big success, bringing together acts as diverse as Dame Edna Everage, Chris De Burgh, Jack Dee, Jamelia, Jo Brand and Shakin’ Stevens.
In the autumn he even found time to act as guest compere at the Brum Rocks show to mark the reopening of Birmingham Town Hall. The event, organised by Jasper Carrott’s former schoolmate and rock drummer Bev Bevan, raised money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Carrott received the OBE in 2003, which recognised his charity work. He has raised huge sums for local causes including the Children’s Hospital and special schools. He has also raised money for national causes including the Variety Club of Great Britain, the NSPCC and Comic Relief.
Jasper Carrott’s TV shows and sitcoms, including The Detectives, Canned Carrot, Carrot’s Lib and All About Me, have all achieved commercial success, but much of his fortune comes from a 15 per cent share of Celador, the TV production company which owns the phenomenal international success - Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Celador’s ultimate parent company, the Target Group was bought in 2006 by Dutch company 2Way Traffic for £106 million. Jasper Carrott made £11 million from the deal.
When he was presented with the special Walk of Stars slab engraved with a star and his name, he said: "I have lived in the area for 62 years and have never wanted to move. This is the best city in the world."