JK Rowling tops list of billionaires

Harry Potter author JK Rowling earned more than anyone else on any of Forbes' lists, with a total of $300m (£150m).

Her books about the boy wizard have sold 375 million copies worldwide and the final instalment, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, has sold 44 million since it came out last July, according to the magazine.

Rowling even earned more than US talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who took home $275m (£137.5m) last year.

Elsewhere in the Forbes round-up, David Beckham came second in the top 10 list of highest-paid male athletes with $50m (£25m).

But he was beaten convincingly to the top spot by golf star Tiger Woods, who earned $115m (£57.5m) last year.

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova topped the women's list with $26m (£13m).

Other notable Britons include rock bands The Police, who earned $115m (£57.5m), and Genesis, who earned $31m (£15.5m); and Mark Burnett, the producer responsible for Survivor and The Apprentice, who earned $60m (£30m) last year.

Chef Gordon Ramsay and supermodel Kate Moss earned $7.5m (£3.75m) each, and Ken Follett, the Welsh author of 1989 Pillars of the Earth, which was recommended by Oprah on her show last year, earned $20m (£10m).