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Saturday, 18 November, 2000, 03:56 GMT
Evans tops UK showbiz earners
Chris Evans
Chris Evans has many good reasons to smile
The UK's highest paid entertainer is TV presenter Chris Evans, who earned 35.5m following the sale of his Ginger Media Group, a new survey calculates.

The UK's second highest paid entertainer and highest paid sportsman is the undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion, Lennox Lewis, who earned 30m last year.

His wealth could soar even higher next year if he succeeds in getting his long-awaited fight with Mike Tyson.

Elton John may have once spent 40 million in 20 months but he can afford it as he earned 25.98m last year.

These figures for entertainers are contained in The Sunday Times Pay list, published this weekend, which examines cash earnings between October 1999 and October 2000, either from careers, dividends, share sales or windfalls.

Other top earners include comedy duo Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith, who each earned 24m from the sale of their production company Talkback.

Britain's highest paid entertainers
1. Chris Evans 35.5m
2. Lennox Lewis 30m
3. Sir Elton John 25.98m
4. Griff Rhys Jones 24.5m
5. Mel Smith 24.25m
6. Sir Sean Connery 13m
7. Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger 12m
9. Naseem Hamed 11m
10. Tracey Ullman, George Michael, Keith Richards 10m

Sir Sean Connery is the UK's best paid actor. He earned 13m last year.

The youngest entrant to the list is the singer Charlotte Church, who earned 5.5m in 1999. She has just turned 14.

It makes her richer than Manchester United and England star David Beckham, who is Britain's best paid footballer. He earned 5.2m in the same 12 months.

Others who had an exceptionally good year in 1999 include Jerry Hall, who earned 7.25m with her divorce settlement from former husband Mick Jagger.

However, her husband was the seventh highest paid entertainer earning 12m last year, while the Rolling Stones' 1999 world tour generated varying amounts for other band members Keith Richards (10m), Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood (8m).

Tracey Ullman, virtually a forgotten star in the UK, earned 10m in the US last year, making her the UK's joint 10th top-earning entertainer.

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See also:

13 Jan 00 | Business
Evans sells up
11 Apr 99 | UK
Britain's richest top 20
18 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Comedians strike it rich
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