Simon Cowell may be the media darling, but it is the owner of Top Up TV and one of the founders of Pace that have the greater fortunes, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List.
At 15 in the chart, the highest placed media figure is Leonard Blavatnik, the industrialist who also attempted to save the GB business of Setanta Sports before its collapse last June. A new entry in the list, Blavatnik, is reputed to be worth £3,000 million (€3,481m). He also has stakes in Russian oil operations and investments in the aluminum and chemical industries.
The chairwoman of Kinnevik, Cristina Stenbeck, is placed joint 279th with £234m, benefitting from a rise of £36m. Though no longer directly including Modern Times Group, the Metro newspapers (outside of London) and Telecom operator Tele2 remain key elements of the portfolio.
Pace founder David Hood has added another £40m to his £220m fortune. Hood’s remaining stake in Pace is now worth £67m following a 52% rise in sales at the digital technology firm. At 255 in the list, Hood is significantly ahead of his former Pace partner Barry Rubery, joint 574th with £95m.
Essex-born TV producer Mark Burnett and his wife, the actress Roma Downey, hold £235m. Elisabeth Murdoch and her PR husband Matthew Freud are said to be worth £190m, a rise of £42m, have benefitted from a £14.3m profit at Ms Murdoch’s production company shine that makes popular shows including Masterchef. Simon Cowell (£165m), the man behind Susan Boyle, X-Factor, and Britain’s Got Talent has in the last two years earned £86m from his TV work, but also has a growing property portfolio.