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Highest paid UK celebrities earn up to 2086x the average!

Wouldn’t you love to get paid for working on your passion? What if you could get paid 2000x more than you do now? British writer, JK Rowling, does just that and earned £74.5m for the privilege (according to The Telegraph). She’s one of 12 top earning UK celebrities making between £26.5m and £74.5m after successfully pursuing their dreams.

Singers are doing well as the top celebrity earners, taking up a third of the top 12 spots- Adele, Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney, and Elton John all appear on our list. Other celebrity top jobs include chefs, with Gordon Ramsey earning a princely £47m, and DJs, with Calvin Harris following up with an enviable income of £38m.

RankCelebrityJobCeleb Gross Annual EarningsAverage UK SalaryGross Earnings Relative to Avg. Salary
1J. K RowlingAuthor£74.5m£40,4591841x
2ColdplayMusician£69m£33,0802086x
3AdeleSinger£54m£30,9051747x
4Gordon RamsayChef£47m£26,1781795x
5Elton JohnSinger£47m£30,9051521x
6Paul McCartneySinger£42m£30,9051359x
7Rory McIlroyGolfer£39m£23,1651684x
8Calvin HarrisDJ£38m£30,3751251x
9Lewis HamiltonRacing Driver£36m£17,4852059x
10Simon CowellMusic Producer£34m£37,744901x
11Ed SheeranSinger£29m£30,905938x
12Gareth BaleFootballer£26.5m£46,437571x

But if you wanted to be a full-time writer, chef, or DJ, what would be a reasonable income to expect? We had a look at the average salaries for similar jobs and compared them to the gross earnings of the UK’s highest paid celebrities. You probably won’t be surprised to find that they’re earning up to 2086x the average UK wage to do the same job. Coldplay has pulled furthest away from the average UK salary, earning £69m – that’s 2086x more than the average musician salary of £33,080, according to our data.

Despite the stereotype of celebrity footballers being incredibly high earners, they actually have one of the smallest gaps between celebrity players and general footballers. Gareth Bale earns 571x more than the average footballer (or football-related) salary of £46.437, but £26.5m per year is still not to be sniffed at. The smaller gap is also because non-celebrity footballers have a generous salary compared to the UK average, and Bale earns the least out of our top 12 celebrities.

But what about the rest of our average workers? Despite stories of starving artists, writers and authors earn a comfortable average of £40,459 per year – considerably more than the UK average of £34,884. Other creative workers aren’t so fortunate though, with musicians, singers, and DJs all earning less than the overall average. The average British musician makes a little under the average, with a standard salary of £33,080, solo artists earn less with £30,905, and DJs make less still at £30,375.

What about the other celebrity jobs? If you’re hoping to be the next Gordon Ramsey, you’re likely to make around £26,178 – 21% less than the UK average, but you have to start somewhere! While celebrity footballers earned the least among their celeb peers, we’ve found that drivers earn the least out of the professions here, with average earnings currently standing at £17,485.