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Top Gear presenters extend contract as Jeremy Clarkson resigns as director of affiliate merchandising company Bedder 6

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have announced they have extended their contract with the BBC2 car show for another three years following a reported seven figure deal.

The announcement came as Clarkson and Andy Wilman, the show’s producer, handed over full control of their joint venture Bedder 6, which owned the commercial rights to the show, to BBC Worldwide.

Bedder 6 made £15.2 million in pre-tax profits last year through Top Gear branded goods such as DVDs and live shows. Clarkson had a 30% stake in the company which saw his Top Gear earnings rise to more than £3 million last year.

However fellow presenters, May and Hammond, have been said to be concerned that they were missing out on income generated from merchandise sales as a portion went directly to Bedder 6.

The full details of the new contract and the BBC takeover of Bedder 6 are unknown, but its has been conformed BBC Worldwide now holds a 100% stake in the company with a BBC Worldwide spokesman further commenting: "BBC Worldwide has agreed new commercial deals with Jeremy, James, Richard and Andy to secure Top Gear's international future for another three years.

“This agreement secures the commercial future of Top Gear without using a penny of licence fee money and allows us to continue to grow the brand around the world, reinvest in Top Gear and return profits to the BBC."