Date: 15th April 2004

Kidman tops rich list

Oscar-winning actor Nicole Kidman more than doubled her annual income in 2003, making her Australia's richest entertainer.

According to the BRW Top 50 Entertainers, Kidman earned an estimated $25 million for calendar 2003.

That is a jump from her eighth-place spot at $11.6 million in 2002.

"We looked at the industry because it is actually bigger than people think," BRW entertainers editor Robert Skeffington said.

"Although it is prominent socially and so forth, the reality is that the entertainment industry is actually very large. The whole point of the thing is to look at who are the top earners across all the areas from year to year."

Mr Skeffington said the magazine had changed the way it collated the results compared with previous years, making it difficult to contrast the 2003 and 2002 data.

In 2002, the richest entertainer was a group of producers from Sports and Entertainment Ltd - James Erskine, David Coe, Tony Cochrane and Basil Scaffidi - who jointly earned $37 million.

Kidman in 2003 was followed closely by singer John Farnham who recently performed his last tour, taking in 96 concerts around the country attended by 460,000 people. Farnham earned $24 million for the year.

"For someone who is not at the cutting edge of fashionable music it is phenomenal that he has been able to make that much money and he has a very strong fan base," Skeffington said.

In third place was iconic group AC/DC, which has defined rock music for generations, earning $20 million for the year.

Children's entertainers The Wiggles earned $14.2 million, up slightly from their 2002 income of $14 million.

Renowned Australian film director Peter Weir is the wealthiest in his field with an income of $10 million.

Weir's latest project was the award-winning Master and Commander: The Far Side Of The World, which starred Russell Crowe.

Gardening guru and TV presenter Don Burke earned $8.5 million for the year, up from $4.5 million previously.

Burke is the creator and face of Burke's Backyard and also heads his own production company - CTC Productions - which owns the hugely successful ratings winners Backyard Blitz and DIY Rescue.

TV presenter Rove McManus is a new entry to the list with an income of $7.5 million.

The magazine will be released nationally tomorrow.

Source: Press Release