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THE MILLION-HERS; 50 top-earning women in the British Isles.

LAGHER. Ex-managing director of Doyle hotel group, aged 39, and paid pounds 15.2million.

In May she masterminded the company's sale to another Irish hotel group, Jury's. Lives in Dublin with husband John, a multi-millionaire.

3. JK ROWLING. Children's author, aged 34. Joanne created the Harry Potter phenomenon and has sold 30 million books worldwide. Bespectacled Harry, who joins a wizard school, has earned her royalties of pounds 11.5million, plus pounds 2million in advances and pounds 1million for film rights.

In 1996 she was a single mum, handwriting manuscripts in a greasy-spoon in Edinburgh, while her baby slept in a pram beside her.

4. LYDIA INSTANCE. Director at packaging company David J. Instance. Aged 61, pounds 14.2million. Firm took off when it introduced revolutionary warning labels on drugs which concertina out.

5. MELBA CORREIA. Travel company entrepreneur. Aged 63, pounds 12million. With husband, built up Hayes and Jarvis agency - specialising in exotic holidays.THE writer behind the wizardry of children's hero Harry Potter has worked some financial magic as well - and become the third highest-earning woman in Britain.

Joanne Rowling - better known as JK Rowling - was an unemployed single mum three years ago. Now her pounds 14.5million income last year has put her in the top three of a 50-strong table of the best-paid females.

She is joined by entertainers, businesswomen and other writers in a money-laden list that shows how Britain's women are earning more than ever before.

Top of the table is Hilary Cropper, 58, chief executive of software company FI Group, with a pounds 17.4million package.

The Spice Girls are joint sixth, with pounds 6.2million each. Schoolgirl singing sensation Charlotte Church makes No.33 on pounds 1.7million.

TV presenter and Mirror columnist Carol Vorderman can count down from pounds 2million and is a new entry at 28.

Frasier actress Jane Leeves, who plays dippy Daphne Moon, also makes a first appearance at 37 with pounds 1.5million.

The Duchess of York has leapt 10 places from 35 to joint 25 with a pounds 2.1million income last year. The list, compiled by the Mail on Sunday, unfolds like this:

1. HILARY CROPPER. Head of FI Group, based in Hemel Hempstead, Herts. Her firm irons out computer software glitches at companies like British Airways and Barclays Bank.

Left school with two A levels. Worked with a computer firm for 11 years and gave up at 29 to start a family. Brought up three children, then at 36 joined ICL before being head-hunted by FI in 1985.

2. BERNADETTE GAL Sold it in 1998 and now building a hotel empire in Kenya where they live.

JOINT 6. SPICE GIRLS. Chain of Spice Girl companies paid each of the four pounds 6.2million.

JOINT 10. JENNIFER RICHARDS-STEWART. Ex-joint chief executive of computer games company Gremlin Group. Aged 35, pounds 6million.

GERI HALLIWELL. Has holding companies from Spice Girl projects. Aged 27, pounds 6million.

JOINT 12. BARBARA WARD. Personnel director of IT firm CMG. Aged 64, pounds 4.1million.

ANN GLOAG. Co-founder of transport company Stagecoach. Aged 56, pounds 4.1million. Drives yellow Bentley with plate 1 ANN.

14. LYN BARRAT. Commercial director of No.1 Hilary Cropper's FI Group. Aged 52, pounds 3.4million.

15. ELIZABETH AIREY. Ex-finance director of Monument Oil and Gas. Aged 40, pounds 3.3million.

16. DES'REE. pounds 3.2million for singer aged 30. Best British Female Artist at Brits in February.

17. LUISA SCACCHETTI. Co-founder of pram company Mamas and Papas. Aged 48, pounds 3.1million.

18. KATE MOSS. 25, pounds 3million. Has pounds 2million contract with Calvin Klein, plus lucrative deals with L'Oreal, Christian Dior, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent.

19. PATRICIA BROWN. Magazine tycoon. Aged 60, pounds 2.34million. Co-founded PJB, a firm producing the pharmaceutical industry's bible, Scrip.

JOINT 20. THE CORRS. pounds 2.3million for the pop trio.

JOINT 23. KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS. Actress star of The English Patient. Aged 39, pounds 2.2million.

ANN O'BRIEN. Aged 53, ex- recruitment agency boss. pounds 2.2million.

JOINT 25. LIZ HURLEY Aged 34, pounds 2.1million. Made pounds 1million from appearances in My Favourite Martian and EDTV, another pounds 1million as face of Estee Lauder, plus a six-figure sum for producing Mickey Blue Eyes.

TRICIA GARDOM. 53. Marketing director of FI Group. pounds 2.1million.

SARAH FERGUSON. 40, pounds 2.1million. Paid pounds 1million by Weightwatchers and pounds 1million for promoting Wedgewood china in America.

JOINT 28. NAOMI CAMPBELL. Supermodel, 29, pounds 2million.

CAROL VORDERMAN. 38, pounds 2million. Countdown star picks up pounds 800,000 from the Channel 4 quiz, hosts a range of TV shows and promotes several products. CILLA BLACK. Aged 56, pounds 2million as Queen of TV.

MAEVE BINCHY. Author, 59, pounds 2million.

32. CATHERINE ZETA JONES. Actress, 29, pounds 1.8million.

JOINT 33. CHARLOTTE CHURCH. The 13-year-old's debut album Voice of an Angel sold 2.2 million copies

TRACEY ULLMAN. 40, pounds 1.7million.

35. WINIFRED LINNETT. 49. Director of property company Charles Street Buildings (Leicester). pounds 1.6million.

36. ANITA RODDICK. 56. Body Shop co-founder. pounds 1.55million. JOINT 37. JANE LEEVES, of Frasier. Aged 38, pounds 1.5million. Essex-born actress is cult figure on Channel 4 comedy.

MARIE THOMAS. 57. Co-founder of Carrickcraft, boat hire company. pounds 1.5million.

JOSE FONSECA and APRIL DUCKSBURY. Aged 67 and 55, co-founders of model agency Models One. pounds 1.5million. Set up agency in 1968 with a loan of pounds 420 and earlier this year sold it for around pounds 2.5million.

JOINT 41. HELEN FIELDING. 41, pounds 1.4million. Bridget Jones' Diary author.

DOLORES O'RIORDAN. Cranberries lead singer, aged 28, pounds 1.4million.

JOINT 43. SHAZNAY LEWIS of All Saints. 23, pounds 1.3 million.

LORNA MORAN. 49. Founder of Northern Recruitment firm. pounds 1.3million. Operates in IT, manufacturing and finance sectors.

45. MARJORIE WALKER, 59. Director of Walkers Shortbread. pounds 1.29million.

46. VANESSA FELTZ. 37. pounds 1.25 million. Despite axing of her BBC show, signed a two-year salary package worth pounds 2.5million.

JOINT 47. MARJORIE SCARDINO. 52. Chief executive of media group Pearson. pounds 1.2million.

The first female executive of a company in the elite FTSE 100 share index, she lives with her husband in Kensington, London.

TINA BROWN. Magazine boss, 45. pounds 1.2 million. Coaxed away from editing the influential New Yorker to launch new US magazine Talk for pounds 1.2million.

JANE SEYMOUR. 48, pounds 1.2million. Actress earned more than pounds 1million from TV films, including a Dr Quinn movie.

50. JO CONNELL. 51. Chief operating officer of FI Group. pounds 1.16million.1

HILARY CROPPERChief executive of FI Group, earned pounds 17.4m2

BERNADETTE GALLAGHER Ex-MD of Doyle hotel group, earned pounds 15.2m3

JOANNE (JK) ROWLING Harry Potter author, earned pounds 14.5m28

CAROL VORDERMANTelevision presenter earned pounds 2m33

CHARLOTTE CHURCH Classical singer earned pounds 1.7m
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Sayid, Ruki
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 18, 1999
Words:1146
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