US daytime institution Oprah Winfrey has been named the world's top-earning television celebrity.

The Forbes TV 20 gives the chat show host a fortune of $260 million (£128 million) between June 2006 and June 2007.

In second place is American comedian Jerry Seinfeld with $60 million (£29 million), who has earned the majority of his money through reruns of his self-titled sitcom, the last episode of which was shown nine years ago.

Record producer-turned TV star Simon Cowell is third on the list; reportedly earning $45 million (£22 million) through his American Idol show stateside.

Forbes senior editor Lea Goldman acknowledged that daytime TV celebrities "dominate our list".

When it was put to him that the top 20 was largely devoid of star actors or actresses he added: "I think that's a reflection of TV in general. Ratings will never be what they were and the big hits these days are ensembles."

Top earning television celebrities according to Forbes

1 Oprah Winfrey $260 million (£128 million)
2 Jerry Seinfeld $60 million (£29 million)
3 Simon Cowell $45 million (£22 million)
4 David Letterman $40 million (£20 million)
5 Donald Trump $32 million (£16 million)
6 Jay Leno $32 million (£16 million)
7 Dr Phil Mcgraw $30 million (£15 million)
8 'Judge' Judy Sheindlin $30 million (£15 million)
9 George Lopez $26 million (£13 million)
10 Kiefer Sutherland $22 million (£11 million)

28/09/2007 17:14:21