|Occupation:||TV Show Host|
|Height:||196 cm (6' 6'')|
|Birth Day:||April 11, 1960|
|Birth Place:||Doncaster, England|
|#1||Katya Clarkson||Daughter||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||20||Celebrity Family Member|
|#2||Emily Clarkson||Daughter||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||26||Journalist|
|#4||Alexandra James||Former spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#5||Frances Cain||Former spouse||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#8||Finlo Clarkson||Son||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||23||Celebrity Family Member|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|196 cm (6' 6'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
His family owned a company that sold tea cosies and sent him to Repton School.
In 1984, Clarkson formed the Motoring Press Agency (MPA), in which, with fellow motoring journalist Jonathan Gill, he conducted road tests for local newspapers and automotive magazines. This developed into articles for publications such as Performance Car. He has regularly written for Top Gear magazine since its launch in 1993.
In 1987, Clarkson wrote for Amstrad Computer User and compiled Amstrad CPC game reviews.
Clarkson married Alex Hall in 1989, but she left him for one of his friends after six months.
In May 1993, he married his manager, Frances Cain, daughter of VC recipient Robert Henry Cain, in Fulham. The couple lived in Chipping Norton, in the Cotswolds, with their three children. Clarkson has been described as a member of the Chipping Norton set. Known for buying him car-related gifts, for Christmas 2007 Clarkson's second wife bought him a Mercedes-Benz 600. She was reported to have filed divorce proceedings in April 2014.
After a Top Gear piece by Clarkson for its launch in 1995, described by The Independent as "not doing [GM] any favours", Vauxhall complained to the BBC and announced, "We can take criticism but this piece was totally unbalanced."
Clarkson's views are often showcased on television shows. In 1997, Clarkson appeared on the light-hearted comedy show Room 101, in which a guest nominates things they hate in life to be consigned to nothingness. Clarkson dispatched caravans, houseflies, the sitcom Last of the Summer Wine, the mentality within golf clubs, and vegetarians. He has made several appearances on the prime time talk shows Parkinson and Friday Night with Jonathan Ross since 2002. By 2003, his persona was deemed to fit the mould for the series Grumpy Old Men, in which middle-aged men talk about any aspects of modern life which irritate them. Since the topical news panel show Have I Got News for You dismissed regular host Angus Deayton in October 2002, Clarkson has become one of the most regularly used guest hosts on the show. Clarkson has appeared as a panellist on the political current affairs television show Question Time twice since 2000. On 2 October 2015, he presented Have I Got News for You again for the first time since his dismissal.
In October 1998, Hyundai complained to the BBC about what they described as "bigoted and racist" comments he made at the Birmingham Motor Show, where he was reported as saying that the people working on the Hyundai stand had "eaten a dog" and that the designer of the Hyundai XG had probably eaten a spaniel for his lunch. Clarkson also allegedly referred to those working on the BMW stand as "Nazis", although BMW said they would not be complaining.
Clarkson often discusses high speed driving on public roads, criticising road safety campaigns involving cameras and speed bumps. In 2002, a Welsh Assembly Member Alun Pugh wrote to BBC director general Greg Dyke to complain about Clarkson's comments that he believed encouraged people to use Welsh roads as a high speed test track. A BBC spokesman said that suggestions Clarkson had encouraged speeding were "nonsense". Clarkson has also made similar comments about driving in Lincolnshire. In a November 2005 Times article, Clarkson wrote on the Bugatti Veyron, "On a recent drive across Europe I desperately wanted to reach the top speed but I ran out of road when the needle hit 240 mph," and "From the wheel of a Veyron, France is the size of a small coconut. I cannot tell you how fast I crossed it the other day. Because you simply wouldn't believe me." In 2007, solicitor Nick Freeman represented Clarkson against a charge of driving at 86 mph in a 50 mph zone on the A40 road in London, defeating it on the basis that the driver of the car loaned to Clarkson from Alfa Romeo could not be ascertained. In 2008, Clarkson claimed in a talk at the Hay Festival to have been given a speeding ticket for driving at 186 mph on the A1203 Limehouse Link road in London.
In 2003, Clarkson presented The Victoria Cross: For Valour looking at recipients of the Victoria Cross, in particular focusing on his father-in-law, Robert Henry Cain, who received a VC for actions during the Battle of Arnhem in World War II.
Clarkson is passionate about engineering, especially pioneering work. In Inventions That Changed the World Clarkson showcased the invention of the gun, computer, jet engine, telephone and television. He has previously criticised the engineering feats of the 20th century as merely improvements on the truly innovative inventions of the Industrial Revolution. He cites the lack of any source of alternative power for cars, other than by "small explosions". In Great Britons, as part of a public poll to find the greatest historical Briton, Clarkson was the chief supporter for Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a prominent engineer during the Industrial Revolution credited with numerous innovations. Despite this, he also has a passion for many modern examples of engineering. In Speed and Extreme Machines, Clarkson rides and showcases numerous vehicles and machinery. Clarkson was awarded an honorary degree from Brunel University on 12 September 2003, partly because of his work in popularising engineering, and partly because of his advocacy of Brunel.
In his book, I Know You Got Soul he describes many machines that he believes possess a soul. He cited the Concorde crash as his inspiration, feeling a sadness for the demise of the machine as well as the passengers. Clarkson was a passenger on the last BA Concorde flight on 24 October 2003. Paraphrasing Neil Armstrong he described the retirement of the fleet as "This is one small step for a man, but one huge leap backwards for mankind".
For an episode of the first series of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? broadcast in November 2004, Clarkson was invited to investigate his family history. It included the story of his great-great-great grandfather, John Kilner (1792–1857), who invented the Kilner jar, a container for preserved fruit.
Clarkson is in favour of personal freedom and against government regulation, stating that government should "build park benches and that is it. They should leave us alone." He has a particular contempt for the Health and Safety Executive. He often criticised the Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, especially what he calls the 'ban' culture, frequently fixating on the bans on smoking and 2004 ban on fox hunting. In April 2013, Clarkson was among 2,000 invited guests to the funeral of Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
In 2004, the BBC apologised unreservedly and paid £250 in compensation to a Somerset parish council, after Clarkson damaged a 30-year-old horse-chestnut tree by driving into it to test the strength of a Toyota Hilux. In December 2006, the BBC complaints department upheld the complaint of four Top Gear viewers that Clarkson had used the phrase "ginger beer" (rhyming slang for "queer") in a derogatory manner, when Clarkson picked up on and agreed with an audience member's description of the Daihatsu Copen as being a bit "gay". The Top Gear: Polar Special was criticised by the BBC Trust for glamorising drink driving in a scene showing Clarkson and James May in a vehicle, despite Clarkson saying to the camera, "And please do not write to us about drinking and driving, because I am not driving I am sailing" (as they were on top of international, frozen waters). They stated the scene "was not editorially justified" despite occurring outside the jurisdiction of any drink-driving laws.
In March 2004, at the British Press Awards, he swore at Piers Morgan and punched him before being restrained by security; Morgan says it left him with a scar above his left eyebrow.
In 2005, Clarkson received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the Oxford Brookes University. His views on the environment precipitated a small demonstration at the award ceremony for his honorary degree, when Clarkson was pied by road protester Rebecca Lush. Clarkson took this incident in good humour, responding 'good shot' and subsequently referring to Lush as "Banana girl". Clarkson has spoken in support of hydrogen cars.
Clarkson has a keen interest in the British Armed Forces and several of his DVDs and television shows have featured a military theme, whether it be flying in military jets or several Clarkson focused Top Gear spots having a military theme such as Clarkson escaping a Challenger 2 tank in a Range Rover, a Lotus Exige evading missile lock from an Apache attack helicopter, a platoon of Irish Guardsmen shooting at a Porsche Boxster and Mercedes-Benz SLK, or using a Ford Fiesta as a Royal Marine landing craft. Clarkson visited British troops in Baghdad, in October 2005.
In a later incident during a Top Gear episode broadcast on 13 November 2005, Clarkson, while talking about a Mini design that might be "quintessentially German", made a mock Nazi salute, and made references to the Hitler regime and the German invasion of Poland by suggesting the GPS "only goes to Poland".
Clarkson received a BAFTA nomination for Best Entertainment Performance in 2006. Jonathan Ross ended up winning the award. He won the National Television Awards Special Recognition Award in 2007, and reportedly earned £1 million that same year for his role as a Top Gear presenter, and a further £1.7 million from books, DVDs and newspaper columns. Clarkson and co-presenter James May were the first people to reach the North Magnetic Pole in a car also in 2007, chronicled in Top Gear: Polar Special.
Clarkson wanted to purchase the Ford GT after admiring its inspiration, the Ford GT40 race cars of the 1960s. Clarkson was able to secure a place on the shortlist for the few cars that would be imported to Britain to official customers, only through knowing Ford's head of PR through a previous job. After waiting years and facing an increased price, he found many technical problems with the car. After "the most miserable month's motoring possible," he returned it to Ford for a full refund. After a short period, including asking Top Gear fans for advice over the Internet, he bought back his GT. He called it "the most unreliable car ever made", because he was never able to complete a return journey with it. In 2006, Clarkson ordered a Gallardo Spyder and sold the Ford GT to make way for it. In August 2008, he sold the Gallardo because "idiots in Peugeots kept trying to race [him] in it". In October, he announced that he had sold his Volvo XC90. In January 2009, in a review of the car printed in The Times, he wrote: "I’ve just bought my third Volvo XC90 in a row and the simple fact is this: it takes six children to school in the morning."
Clarkson's comments have both a large number of supporters and opponents. He often comments on the media-perceived social issues of the day such as the fear of challenging adolescent youths, known as 'hoodies'. In 2007, Clarkson was cleared of allegations of assaulting a hoodie while visiting central Milton Keynes, after Thames Valley Police said that if anything, he had been the victim. In the five-part series Jeremy Clarkson: Meets the Neighbours he travelled around Europe in a Jaguar E-Type, examining (and in some cases reinforcing) his stereotypes of other countries.
The BBC often played down his comments as ultimately not having the weight they were ascribed. In 2007, they described Clarkson as "Not a man given to considered opinion", and in response to an official complaint another BBC spokeswoman once said: "Jeremy's colourful comments are always entertaining, but they are his own comments and not those of the BBC. More often than not they are said with a twinkle in his eye."
In 2007, Clarkson wrote and presented Jeremy Clarkson: Greatest Raid of All Time, a documentary about the World War II Operation Chariot, a 1942 Commando raid on the docks of Saint-Nazaire in occupied France. At the end of 2007, Clarkson became a patron of Help for Heroes, a charity aiming to raise money to provide better facilities to wounded British servicemen. His effort led to the 2007 Christmas appeal in The Sunday Times supporting Help for Heroes.
In April 2007, he was criticised in the Malaysian parliament for having described one of their cars, the Perodua Kelisa, as the worst in the world, adding that "its name was like a disease and [suggesting] it was built in jungles by people who wear leaves for shoes". A Malaysian government minister countered, pointing out that no complaints had been received from UK customers who had bought the car.
Clarkson is a fan of the progressive rock band Genesis and attended the band's reunion concert at Twickenham Stadium in 2007. He also provided sleeve notes for the reissue of the album Selling England by the Pound as part of the Genesis 1970–1975 box set.
He sustained minor injuries to his legs, back and hand in an intentional collision with a brick wall while making the 12th series of Top Gear in 2008.
In 2008, an internet petition was posted on the Prime Minister's Number 10 website to "Make Jeremy Clarkson Prime Minister". By the time it closed, it had attracted 49,446 signatures. An opposing petition posted on the same site set to "Never, Ever Make Jeremy Clarkson Prime Minister" attracted 87 signatures. Clarkson later commented he would be a rubbish Prime Minister as he is always contradicting himself in his columns. In their official response to the petition, Number 10 agreed with Clarkson's comments.
In November 2008, Clarkson attracted over 500 complaints to the BBC when he joked about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes. The BBC stated the comment was a comic rebuttal of a common misconception about lorry drivers and was within the viewer's expectation of Clarkson's Top Gear persona. Chris Mole, the Member of Parliament for Ipswich, where five prostitutes were murdered in 2006, wrote a "strongly worded" letter to BBC Director-General Mark Thompson, demanding that Clarkson be sacked. Clarkson dismissed Mole's comments in his Sunday Times column the following weekend, writing, "There are more important things to worry about than what some balding and irrelevant middle-aged man might have said on a crappy BBC2 motoring show." Andrew Tinkler, chief executive of the Eddie Stobart Group, a major trucking company, stated that "They were just having a laugh. It's the 21st century, let's get our sense of humour in line."
In July 2009, Clarkson was reported to have called then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown "a silly cunt" during a warm-up while recording a Top Gear show. Although several newspapers reported that he had subsequently argued with BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow, who was present at the recording, the BBC denied that he had been given a "dressing down". John Whittingdale, Conservative chair of the Culture Select Committee remarked: "Many people will find that offensive, many people will find that word in particular very offensive [...] I am surprised he felt it appropriate to use it."
While in Australia, Clarkson made disparaging remarks aimed at the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in February 2009, calling him a "one-eyed Scottish idiot" and accused him of lying. These comments were widely condemned by the Royal National Institute of Blind People and also Scottish politicians who requested that he should be taken off air. He subsequently apologised for referencing Brown's monocular blindness, but insisted: "I haven't apologised for calling him an idiot."
In July 2010, Clarkson reportedly angered gay rights campaigners after he made a remark on Top Gear that did not get aired on the 4 July episode. But guest Alastair Campbell wrote about it on Twitter. Clarkson said: "I demand the right not to be bummed". The BBC later said that they cut this remark out as they "edited down" the interview as it was too long to fit into the show. In an episode aired after the watershed on 1 August 2010, Clarkson described a Ferrari F430 as "special needs". He said the car owned by co-presenter James May looked "like a simpleton". Media regulator Ofcom investigated after receiving two complaints, and found that the comments "were capable of causing offence" but did not censure the BBC.
In September 2010, Clarkson was granted a privacy injunction against his first wife to prevent her from publishing claims that their sexual relationship continued after his second marriage (see AMM v HXW). He voluntarily lifted the injunction in October 2011, commenting that: "Injunctions don’t work. You take out an injunction against somebody or some organisation and immediately news of that injunction and the people involved and the story behind the injunction is in a legal-free world on Twitter and the Internet. It’s pointless."
His 4 September 2011 column for The Sun newspaper drew angry remarks in response to Clarkson's call to abolish the Welsh language: "I think we are fast approaching the time when the United Nations should start to think seriously about abolishing other languages. What's the point of Welsh, for example? All it does is provide a silly maypole around which a bunch of hotheads can get all nationalistic." On 30 November 2011, while being interviewed on the BBC's The One Show, Clarkson commented on the UK's public sector strike that day, lauding the capital's empty roads. After mentioning the BBC's need for balance, he said, "I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families." The programme later apologised for his remarks, with further apologies issued by Clarkson and the BBC. These remarks had attracted 21,335 complaints to the BBC within 36 hours; the BBC also received 314 messages of support for Clarkson.
Clarkson then also presented the show's new format from 20 October 2002 to 8 March 2015. Along with co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond, he is credited with turning Top Gear into the most-watched TV show on BBC Two, rebroadcast to over 100 countries around the world. Clarkson's company Bedder 6, which handled merchandise and international distribution for Top Gear, earned over £149m in revenue in 2012, prior to a restructuring that gave BBC Worldwide full control of the Top Gear rights.
On 12 January 2012, the Indian High Commission lodged a formal complaint with the BBC over the "tasteless" antics of Clarkson's Top Gear Christmas special where he mocked India's culture and people. During the 90-minute special, which was aired twice over the Christmas break, Clarkson made a string of jokes about Indian food, clothes, toilets, trains and history. On an episode of Top Gear broadcast on 5 February 2012, Clarkson compared a Japanese car/camper van to a person with a growth on their face. A major UK charity that supports people with facial disfigurements, Changing Faces, complained to the BBC and Ofcom after Clarkson's remarks.
In an unused take for a Top Gear feature recorded in early 2012, Clarkson is alleged to have mumbled the ethnic slur "nigger" when repeating the children's rhyme Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. The clip later surfaced on the website of the Daily Mirror tabloid at the beginning of May 2014. In the take, Clarkson attempts to mumble the sentence so as to obscure the word, but admitted that upon a close listening, the word could still be heard. Clarkson apologised for his efforts not being "quite good enough" to ensure the footage was not used. It was reported on 3 May, that the BBC had given Clarkson a final warning, with the presenter accepting that he would be sacked if he made another offensive remark.
In September 2013, a tweet proposing that he might stand for election as an independent candidate in Doncaster North, the constituency of the then Labour leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, was retweeted over 1,000 times – including by John Prescott.
In 2014, he received a £4.8 million dividend and an £8.4 million share buyout from BBC Worldwide, bringing his estimated income for the year to more than £14 million.
In October 2014, Clarkson attracted controversy when filming the Top Gear: Patagonia Special after driving a Porsche 928 in Argentina with the licence plate H982 FKL, allegedly referring to the 1982 Falklands War. Also, during the broadcast, Clarkson was seen referring to the controversy that had risen after the Burma Special; when inspecting a bridge, which he and his colleagues had built during the episode, he was quoted as saying "That is a proud moment, Hammond, but... is it straight?"
When writing in 2015 in his final column for Top Gear magazine, he credited the Shropshire Star as his first outlet as a motoring columnist: "I started small, on the Shropshire Star with little Peugeots and Fiats and worked my way up to Ford Granadas and Rovers until, after about seven years, I was allowed to drive an Aston Martin Lagonda... It was 10 years before I drove my first Lamborghini."
On 30 July 2015, it was announced that Clarkson, along with former Top Gear hosts Richard Hammond and James May would present a new show on Amazon Video. The first season was made available worldwide in 2016. On 11 May 2016, Clarkson confirmed on his Twitter feed that the series would be titled The Grand Tour, and air from a different location each week.
In March 2015, Clarkson was suspended by the BBC from Top Gear following a "fracas" with one of the show's producers. It emerged that Clarkson had been involved in a dispute over catering while filming on location in Hawes, North Yorkshire. Clarkson had been offered soup and a cold meat platter, instead of the steak he wanted, because the hotel chef had gone home.
On 19 March 2015, at a charity auction at the Roundhouse in Camden, north London, Clarkson launched into a verbal tirade against BBC studio bosses related to his suspension from the programme, saying "The BBC have fucked themselves." He later stated that this was "meant in jest".
On 25 March 2015, the BBC released an official statement confirming that, as a result of the actions which led to his suspension, they would not be renewing his contract with the show. Following the statement, North Yorkshire Police requested to view the report and stated that "action will be taken by North Yorkshire police where necessary". However, Tymon informed the police that he did not wish to press charges against Clarkson, and Clarkson urged fans of the show to stop trolling Tymon on social media, as what happened was not his fault. British police investigated death threats made against BBC Director-General Tony Hall over Clarkson's firing. Less than 24 hours after his dismissal, Clarkson was approached by Zvezda, a Russian state broadcaster, to present a motoring programme.
In November 2015, Tymon sued Clarkson and the BBC for racial discrimination over the verbal abuse he received in the March incident. The following February, Clarkson formally apologised to Tymon and settled the racial discrimination and personal injury claim for £100,000.
Clarkson supported a Remain vote in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum. Clarkson does not support Brexit, stating that while the European Union has its problems, Britain would not have any influence over the EU, should it leave the Union. He envisions the European Union being turned into a US-like "United States of Europe", with one army, one currency, and one unifying set of values. In 2019, Clarkson said: "Europe has to punish us—they can’t allow us to leave without being damaged because then everyone will want to go. We don’t want to go if we’re going to be damaged."
In 2017, in response to the United States officially recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Clarkson advised Palestinians to recognize London as the capital of the United States.
On 4 August 2017, he was admitted to hospital after falling ill with pneumonia while on a family holiday in Majorca, Spain, and was being treated in a hospital there. He subsequently said he could "breathe out harder and for longer than a non-smoking 40-year-old" and had 96 per cent capacity for a person his age. "In short, getting on for three-quarters of a million fags have not harmed me in any way. I have quite literally defied medical science".
On 9 March 2018, it was announced that Clarkson would host a revamped series of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? on ITV. The show had previously been presented by Chris Tarrant.
In 2020, Clarkson stated that he usually votes for the Conservative Party, claiming not to be a natural Tory but "it just happens to be that every time it comes around and you weigh up which is going to provide you with a better life, the better country to live in, then it’s usually the Conservatives" and criticised the policies of Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn, stating "only an idiot would vote for Corbyn." However, he also expressed approval of incumbent Labour leader Keir Starmer and maintained that he was prepared to vote for Labour for the first time "if there’s an election tomorrow" citing Boris Johnson's handing of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clarkson is also a personal friend of former Prime Minister and Conservative leader David Cameron.
Currently, Jeremy Clarkson is 62 years, 7 months and 19 days old. Jeremy Clarkson will celebrate 63rd birthday on a Tuesday 11th of April 2023.
Find out about Jeremy Clarkson birthday activities in timeline view here.