What the UK's top comedians earn, featuring Ricky Gervais(Image: AP Photo - Chris Pizzello)

Stand-up comedy is one of the big money-spinners of the last decade, carrying a chosen few who are brave or reckless enough to make a roomful of strangers laugh on a journey from rags to riches. With a successful tour and solid sales of the accompanying DVD then a big name comedian could easily be £1 million better off. If you happen to be Michael McIntyre on a mega tour you could be looking to pocket 20 times that amount.

For proof of this, look no further than Ricky Gervais, who's just made his way onto the Sunday Times Rich List of the richest people living in Britain (albeit the second section from 1,001 to 2,000). To get to earnings of this kind, you need to have made the transition from the stage to TV. Gervais created and starred in The Office and Extras, selling the rights to the former to a US network, as well as treading the boards.

We take a look at the finances of some of the UK's most popular comedians.