5 min readPublished On: June 6, 2023By

Television presenter James May has an estimated net worth of $40 million. The TV personality hosted Top Gear for over a decade and is the co-host of The Grand Tour, a popular and critically acclaimed adventure show on Amazon Prime.

Full Name James Daniel May
Net Worth $40 million
Age 60
Date of Birth and Place 16 January 1963
Profession Television Presenter
Nationality and Hometown British
Marital Status Partner with Sarah Frater since 2000

Who is James May?

May might not be doing the Grand Tour for much longer, but he still has other shows on Amazon Prime. Source: Radio Times.

Born in 1963, James May is a British television presenter who hosted the motoring program Top Gear on the BBC  from 2003 to 2015. He was born in Bristol and attended Pendle College, Lancaster University, where he studied music.

After leaving university, May worked briefly in the civil service and spent one year studying metalwork at a technical university. He finally ventured into broadcasting and journalism in his 30s and served as a sub-editor for The Engineer. He worked with other magazines such as Autocar, Car Magazine, and Top Gear. He was also a weekly columnist for The Daily Telegraph.

May’s expertise is automobiles and anything mechanical, including motorcycles, airplanes, and trains. Before becoming a full-time host on Top Gear, he presented Driven and co-hosted ITV1 coverage of the London Boat Show. He first presented Top Gear in 1999, but the show’s original producers fired him. When the show relaunched in 2002, May returned as a co-presenter with Jeremy Clarkson. They both presented until 2015, when May left because the BBC did not renew Clarkson’s contract.

Partner’s Name Sarah Frater
Children /
Education Lancaster University, Music
Hobbies Cooking, mechanics, and adventure
Height 6 feet (183 cm)
Weight 187 lbs (85 kg)
Zodiac Sign Capricorn

During his time on Top Gear, May was involved in several adventures. These include traveling by car to the North Pole and driving a modified Toyota Hilux to the side of the active Eyjafjallajökull volcano. He has also been involved in several science projects, presenting documentaries and shows on various topics ranging from Sharks to Space.

Since leaving BBC in 2015, May has been busy with The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime. He does the show with his former colleagues from Top Gear. Initially signed for three seasons, the show has lasted five seasons. But the fifth season is expected to be the final season, although there will be four special episodes. But May still has other shows on Amazon, including “James May: Oh Cook!” which is in its second season, and “James May: Our Man In….”

What is James May’s Net Worth for 2023?

According to multiple online sources, James May has a net worth of $40 million. As a writer and presenter, he made money through TV and publishing. Here, let us look at May’s major sources of income.

Television Career

James May is mostly known for a successful stint on Top Gear. But his TV career spans multiple decades, during which he made millions. Before co-presenting Top Gear for 12 years, he worked on other shows. He continued to do this even while on Top Gear. He has been the writer, creator, and presenter behind multiple TV shows and documentaries such as Killer Sharks, James May’s 20th Century, James May’s Big Ideas, James May on the Moon, James May’s Toy Stories, and more. Since he left Top Gear in 2015, he has been on Amazon Prime. Amazon signed a $250 million deal for The Grand Tour, and May got an annual income of around $8.9 million. May also has other shows on Amazon Prime that are doing great.

Writing and Publishing

Outside of television, James has also achieved substantial success as a writer. He was an editor for some magazines and a columnist for The Daily Telegraph. But he has also written several books. These include “James May: Oh Cook!”, James May’s Man Lab: The Book of Usefulness, Notes from the Hard Shoulder, Oz and James Drink to Britain, etc. With 16 books to his name, May earns additional income from royalties.

Brand Endorsements

Part of May’s net worth also comes from brand endorsements. As a television presenter and automobile expert, he is a celebrity, and this fame has earned him some deals. He became a brand ambassador for DHL in 2015 and endorsed several brands, such as Honda and Hornby. His television shows on Amazon Prime also make him an ambassador for Amazon. He has appeared in several promotional campaigns for 

Other Businesses

Being successful and popular has enabled May to establish other businesses benefiting from his fame. In 2015, he and Tom Whitter founded a production company W. Chump and Sons. The company has produced several TV shows, including some of May’s series. May also acquired half ownership of Royal Oak Pub in Swallowcliffe, Wiltshire, in 2016. The pub is one of the most popular destinations in the area.

The celebrity presenter also owns a clothing line called Oh Cook! It is essentially a line of clothing related to cooking, such as t-shirts and aprons. In 2020, May launched a wine club that allows members to sample wines selected by May. He has also done voiceovers for games, including Forza Motorsport 5, Gran Turismo 6, and The Grand Tour Game.

The Bottom Line: James May is a Man of Eclectic Taste

James May is a man of diverse interests. He made millions by monetizing these interests and turning them into profitable ventures. Almost everything he does on TV, whether cooking, talking about cars, adventures, scientific experiments, etc., are hobbies.

If you want to learn more about the net worth of other prominent individuals, check out our articles about Stray Kids Bang Chan and Tom Segura.


About the Author: Nathan Rivers

Nathan Rivers
With a keen interest in cryptocurrencies, stocks, forex, and personal finance, Nathan dedicates his expertise to educate and empower readers seeking reliable information in the ever-evolving world of investments.

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