'Potter' author is Britain's best-paid woman

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The Independent Online

J K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels, is Britain's highest-paid woman, according to a survey released yesterday.

J K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels, is Britain's highest-paid woman, according to a survey released yesterday.

The books detailing the adventures of the schoolboy have pushed Ms Rowling's earnings up to £20.5m in the past year.

The novels will now be followed by a film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Its producers are due to announce who will be cast in the main role today.

Ms Rowling's earnings were calculated in the annual Mail on Sunday list of Britain's 100 highest-paid women.

Nikki Beckett, 39, who founded the computer company NSB Retail Systems,is Britain's second highest-paid woman with £14.03m in earnings. Winifred Linnett, 35, a secretary-turned property magnate, receives £9.76m, largely from her post as director of a family property company.

All the women on the list earned more than £500,000 last year and 64 are millionaires. Collectively they took home more than £212 million last year.

More than half of the top 20 earners are businesswomen, seven are entrepreneurs and four are company executives.The rest are singers, writers or involved in the film or television industries.

The singer Sarah Brightman, 40, is the highest paid entertainer, with £4m in earnings, placing her at number 10 in the list.

Geri Halliwell is in 12th place with £3.7m, ahead of her former Spice Girl bandmates Melanie Chisholm (13th place with £3.55m) and Victoria Beckham, who shares 17th place with the television presenter Carol Vorderman (£2.8m).

The 14-year-old classical singer, Charlotte Church, is the youngest on the list - in 14th place with earnings of £3.5m.

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