Jeremy Clarkson was paid £180 a year when he first joined 'Top Gear'.

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson

The 60-year-old star - who started on the show in 1988 - admitted he wasn't earning much at all from the BBC motoring programme, but he appreciated the huge exposure.

Appearing on the 'Andy Jaye Podcast', he said: "For the first five years on 'Top Gear', the most I earned was £180 in a year.

"People say BBC people are overpaid – we weren’t then. We got paid nothing. While crews and producers would fly to locations, I’d be expected to drive.

"We were seen very much as the bottom rung of the ladder, the worst paid on the set and so on. But it put us in front of seven million people a week, which does put you on the radar.”

Things changed when Clarkson revived the programme in 2002 - four years after the Beeb cancelled the show - alongside Richard Hammond and James May.

The current 'Grand Tour' star - who fronts the Amazon Prime Video show with his co-stars after leaving 'Top Gear' in 2015 - has defended high wages for television stars, and insisted there is much more to his job than the filming.

He argued: "It’s very easy to say, ‘How could you be paid £100,000 for an hour’s work?’

“Well, it isn’t an hour’s work because every time you put your foot out the door, within a minute someone’s asking for a selfie... every restaurant you go to, every time you go for a wee in a service station someone’s trying to take a picture of you at a urinal.”

Meanwhile, Jeremy was previously very critical of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's multi-year Netflix deal, and he insisted he doesn't "give a s***" about their potential projects.

He blasted: "They will be drivel. £100 million to make shows and films that 'inform and give hope'? Kill me.

"I'd be much better making their programmes, as I don't give a s*** about anything they give a s*** about. Just awful."