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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 17:31 GMT
McCartney tops media rich list
Paul McCartney
Sir Paul earned most of his money from his world tour
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has emerged as the highest-paid music and media figure on a list to find the highest earners in the UK.

Sir Paul made more than 40m for 2003, compared to the 35m he made the previous year.

Pop Idol masterminds Simon Fuller and Simon Cowell emerged as the second and third biggest earners.

The Sunday Times Pay List 2003 also includes Robbie Williams, Sting and Frasier actress Jane Leeves.

The list differs from the Sunday Times Rich List because it is based on wages or other earnings as opposed to accumulated or inherited wealth.

Pop Idol explosion

Sir Paul's high earnings, which made him top of the music earners as well, predominantly came from the Back in the World global tour between April 2002 and June 2003, which paid him 36m.

Another 3m came from Apple Corps, the Beatles' company, and just more than 1m from the directorship of his company MPL Communications. He was placed 12th in the overall list of Britain's top wage-earners.

Top 10 highest-paid music and media stars
1 Sir Paul McCartney - 40m
2 Simon Fuller - 36m
3 Simon Cowell - 33.5m
4 Robbie Williams - 26m
5 Sting - 25.1m
6 Phil Collins - 25.1m
7 Richard Desmond - 22.9m
8 John Mahoney - 16.1m
9= Sir Elton John and Madonna - 15m
Source: Sunday Times Pay List 2003

Simon Fuller's figures came both from his share in Pop Idol and his management of pop acts such as S Club Seven. He came top of the list of TV and media earners.

Fuller's earnings from the estimated 220m Pop Idol has made around the world meant it was the first year he earned more from television than he did from music.

Simon Cowell's earnings leapt from 3m to 33.5m in one year, making him second in the music list.

Much of the jump can be attributed to his sale in June of his 50% stake in S Records - set up to sign Pop Idol winners - to the major music group BMG for a reported 25m. He also earned 7m from Pop Idol interests.

Robbie Williams was third in the music list, earning some 26m in 2003, including his three sell-out dates at Knebworth in August.

The second-highest TV and media figure was the Northern and Shell and Express Newspapers owner Richard Desmond, who earned over 20m.

British-born Frasier actor John Mahoney, who plays father Martin, was third in the TV and radio list, earning 16.1m.

The full list is in the Sunday Times newspaper on 2 November.

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