Talk show host Jay Leno has signed a new $100 million (GBP55.55 million) deal with American network NBC - to remain at the helm of The Tonight Show for another five years.

The TV superstar's contract will see him as the host until at least 2009 - in a deal that will generate about $27 million (GBP48.6 million) per year for the popular funnyman - a $9 million (GBP5 million) pay increase.

Leno, 53, has frequently said he does not touch his Tonight Show income - opting instead to live on earnings from his standup gigs.

He has been the undisputed ratings champion in late-night TV since the mid-1990s after taking over as host from Johnny Carson in '92.

The Tonight Show - which averages about 6 million viewers each week - generates about $100 million (GBP55.55 million) in annual profits for NBC.

30/03/2004 17:29