Funny money

Comedy's top earners unveiled

Peter Kay earned £4.5million last year, according to a newspaper’s ‘rich list’ today.

His earnings, the most for any comedian, came largely from his Live At The Bolton Albert Halls DVD, which sold 1.3million copies since it was released last Christmas.

It outsold the previous bestselling live video, by Billy Connolly, by almost two-to-one.

On top of that he has his lucrative earnings from the John Smith’s bitter commercials, income from making the Phoenix Nights spin-off Max And Paddy’s Road To Nowhere, and a wide range of merchandise bearing his catchphrases, from mouse mats to umbrellas.

His last tour was entitled Mum Wants A Bungalow, but with the earnings estimated by The Mail On Sunday he could buy 35 such properties in his home town of Bolton.

However, his earnings are eclipsed by former stand-up Graham Norton, estimated at £6.8 million, thanks to a lucrative BBC deal, and the export of his chat show to the States.

But the top earners in British comedy are, according to the newspaper,

  1. Peter Kay £4.5m
  2. Tracey Ullman £2.8m
  3. Frank Skinner £3m
  4. Steve Coogan £2.5m
  5. Ricky Gervais £2.4m
  6. Billy Connolly £1.8m
  7. Jim Davidson £1.3m
  8. Sacha Baron Cohen £1.1m

Published: 2 Jan 2005

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