Jeremy Clarkson

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Jeremy Clarkson

JC Current.jpg Photograph of Jeremy Clarkson as of May 2019.

JC Prime.jpg Jeremy Clarkson in the 2000s, at the height of his career.

JC Early.jpg Jeremy Clarkson in the 1990s, during his initial rise to fame.

Full Name Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson
Nationality Flaguk.png Great Britain
Birthday 11th April
Sex Male
Occupation Writer of Performance Car Magazine
Presenter of Top Gear (1977 TV series)
Writer of Top Gear Magazine (UK)
Presenter of Top Gear (2002 TV series)
Presenter of The Grand Tour
On-screen debut Top Gear: Series 20, Episode 6 (1988)
Final appearance A Scandi Flick (2022)

Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson, also known as "Jezza" and "The Orangutan" among various other nicknames was a British motoring journalist who became the longest serving host of Top Gear in its entirety, presenting approximately 200 episodes apiece for both the original format of the show from 1988 - 1998, and for the first iteration of the show's relaunch from 2002 - 2015. During this time he wrote weekly columns for various news outlets, in addition to working for the show's accompanying magazine from 1993 - 1999, and again from 2001 - 2015. During his second, more widely-regarded tenure on Top Gear, he helped to transform the show into a global juggernaut with a cumulative global audience of 350 million people tuning in worldwide. Clarkson appeared in the first twenty-two series of the current format of the show until he was dismissed by the BBC on the 25th of March, 2015.

Career until 2002[edit | edit source]

Jeremy Clarkson's career began in the 1980s, writing for Performance Car Magazine. His writing talents would soon be noticed by producer Jon Bentley, who met with Clarkson at the British unveiling of the Citroen AX[1] in 1986, later inviting him to participate in a screen test for Top Gear, bringing along a Range Rover.

Early career on Top Gear[edit | edit source]

Clarkson's distinct demeanour and attitude quickly caught on, as by 1990, he was already beginning to leave an impression. That year, a budding film-maker under the online alias of "Caspersdaddy" would film a Top Gear parody[2] entitled "Bottom Gear", with his friend Rich depicting Clarkson. It is the earliest known Top Gear parody.

First tenure as lead host[edit | edit source]

Solo breakout and Motorworld[edit | edit source]

In 1995, Clarkson would present Motorsport Mayhem, a crash compilation directed by Charles Balchin for the low-budget production company Astrion. Despite being made on a very limited, shoestring budget, with Clarkson's commentary being filmed in what appears to be his own living room, the home video was a massive success and demand was high for a sequel.

Further development into household name[edit | edit source]

In the Summer of 1996, he would participate in the very first Top Gear Live special, held at Silverstone, where he would partake in a race against several other Top Gear presenters in a specially-prepared SEAT Ibiza Cupra. Before the race began, Clarkson mocked the accents of fellow Northern Top Gear presenters Steve Berry and Tony Mason, before intently stating to the camera his goal was to beat Tiff Needell at his own game. He would succeed in this endeavour, beating even Chris Goffey, the latter finishing 2nd overall.

Departure from Top Gear[edit | edit source]

Clarkson's Car Years and further solo work[edit | edit source]

Career until 2015[edit | edit source]

Clarkson, Wilman, and a skeleton crew comprised of other figures such as Richard Porter would work on this new version of Top Gear in relative secrecy.

Return to Top Gear[edit | edit source]

Health problems and slipped disc[edit | edit source]

Inner turmoil with the BBC and Bedder 6[edit | edit source]

Renewed success and Top Gear Live[edit | edit source]

Rumoured departure from Top Gear[edit | edit source]

Final home videos[edit | edit source]

First two warnings and "annus horribilis"[edit | edit source]

Firing from Top Gear[edit | edit source]

Main article: Jeremy Clarkson's dismissal from Top Gear

Career since 2015[edit | edit source]

Hammond's second accident and pneumonia scare[edit | edit source]

Contract with ITV[edit | edit source]

Retirement from full-time presenting[edit | edit source]

Farming career[edit | edit source]

Selected filmography[edit | edit source]

Unabridged article: Filmography

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • At 36 years, Clarkson holds the record for the longest, uninterrupted career in automotive journalism for a British personality, writing and starring in productions about cars every year from 1986 - 2022.
  • He equalled L.J.K. Setright in this respect, whose career spanned 31 years from 1965[3] until 1996, for this honour in 2017, before subsequently overtaking him.
  • At 34 years, Clarkson also holds the record as the longest continuous on-screen automotive personality in the United Kingdom, appearing in at least one TV programme or home video since 1988.
  • He equalled Tiff Needell for this accolade in 2017, before subsequently overtaking him.
  • Globally, both records are held by American motor journalist John Davis, whose career has spanned 41 years as of 2022.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Roach, M. (2011). The Top Gear Story.
  2. YouTube - Bottom Gear (1990).
  3. Disputed; Car claims this to be correct whilst Independent cites 1966 due to his column becoming an established fixture that year.

Navigation[edit | edit source]