A move from Russia to the UK has enabled Chelsea football club's super-rich owner to take over the top spot in the Sunday Times pay list.
Roman Abramovich has bought £100m worth of players for Chelsea
Roman Abramovich earned £564m in 2003 from his Russian oil company Sibneft and the sale of his stake in Aeroflot.
Harry Potter author J K Rowling is one of two women to make the top 10, with an income of £125m in 2003.
With earnings of £20.5m David Beckham gets more than the Queen, and remains the UK's highest paid footballer.
Beckham's recent move to Real Madrid helped him climb 11 places to 34th in the list, which is published on Sunday.
In second place overall was John Caudwell, founder of Europe's largest independent cellular phone distributor Phones 4U.
10 HIGHEST PAID PEOPLE IN BRITAIN - 2003
1. Roman Abramovich, business - £564m
2. John Caudwell, telecoms - £397m
3. Michael Cornish, business - £203m
4. Philip Green, retailing - £171m
5. JK Rowling, publishing - £125m
6. Bill Archer, retailing - £73.8m
7. John Fredriksen, business - £68.5m
8. Lynn Wilson, property and construction - £47m
9. Patrick Moores, retailing - £43.4m
10. Paul Drayson, pharmaceuticals - £42.4m
His earnings in the year to 30 September were put at more than £397m, according to the Sunday Times.
The newspaper said Mr Caudwell made most of the year's income from selling his Singlepoint subsidiary to Vodafone in August.
Philip Green, owner of British Home Stores and the Arcadia retail group - which includes Top Shop and Burton - was knocked from his previous number one slot into fourth place.
Mr Green managed a pay packet of just £171m this year.
The rise in popularity of DIY has been increasingly profitable for Bill Archer, chief executive of retail group Focus Wickes.
Mr Archer, who became a hate figure for fans during his tenure as chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, secured 6th place in the pay list, after earning £73.8m.
Success in the property and construction business earned
Lynn Wilson £47m, catapulting her from 216th place in 2002 to eighth this year .
10 HIGHEST PAID WOMEN IN BRITAIN - 2003
1. JK Rowling, publishing - £125m
2. Alison Goldberg, retailing - £33m
2. Sara Phillips, retailing - £33m
4. Charlene de Carvalho, business - £27 m
5. Portia Kennaway, retailing - £18.4m
6. Marilyn Anselm, retailing - £18m
7. The Queen, establishment - £15.6m
8. Madonna, music - £15m
9. Denise O'Donoghue. TV and media - £12.8m
10. Jackie Collins, publishing - £10m
Labour party donor Paul Drayson was a new entry in the list in 10th place.
His earnings for the year reached £42.4m after he decided to sell his company, Powderject Pharmaceuticals.
He was at the centre of a row when Powderject was awarded a government contract to provide a smallpox vaccine after he gave £50,000 to Labour.
Both the government and Dr Drayson insisted there was no connection between the contract and the donation.
The country's top 10 female earners list is dominated by J K Rowling, who last year earned £92m more than her nearest rivals, retailers Alison Goldberg and Sara Phillips.
In eighth place, London-based singer Madonna was just pipped to the post by the Queen, whose income of £15.6m wins her a slot in seventh place.
The Sunday Times lists the country's top 500 earners.