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Jeremy Clarkson’s history of controversy before his ‘vile’ Meghan Markle comments

The former Top Gear presenter has a history of making unsavoury remarks

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

Jeremy Clarkson has hit the headlines again for all the wrong reasons, but the former Top Gear presenter is no stranger to controversy.

The 62-year-old broadcaster is in hot water after he penned a column for The Sun about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new Netflix documentary.

In the article, Clarkson wrote about how much he hates the Duchess of Sussex saying: "Not like I hate Nicola Sturgeon or Rose West. I hate her on a cellular level.”

He continued: "At night, I'm unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she [Meghan] is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant 'Shame!' and throw lumps of excrement at her.”

He was slammed for his comments with more than 60 MPs writing to the newspaper to highlight their concerns. The piece also became the most complained about article in the history of the UK’s media watchdog, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, receiving almost 20,000 complaints so far.

While the article has been removed from The Sun’s website, Clarkson also spoke out about the backlash on Twitter saying: “Oh dear. I’ve rather put my foot in it.”

“In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people,” he continued.

“I’m horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future.”

However, it is not the first time that Clarkson has made controversial remarks. Here, we look at some of the broadcaster's most controversial moments over the years.

June 2006

Clarkson brands a bus driver a ‘little Hitler bastard.’

In a column for The Sun he said that a bus driver who doesn’t give a car right of way is an "inconsiderate jumped-up little Hitler bastard" who should be "shot in the middle of his face."

December 2006

BBC forced to apologise after he branded a car ‘a bit gay.’

Discussing the Daihatsu Copen sports car on Top Gear one audience member described the car as "a bit gay," to which Clarkson affirmed "A bit gay, yes, very ginger beer.”

March 2007

Clarkson and Top Gear co-host James May make cruel remarks about Richard Hammond following a 2006 car crash which almost killed him.

After Hammond returned to the show, Clarkson asked if he was “a mental” now with May asking if he “dribbled.”

November 2008

The BBC received hundreds of complaints after he made a crude joke about truck drivers murdering sex workers.

Describing the daily routine of a truck driver on Top Gear he said: "Change gear, change gear, check the mirror, murder a prostitute, change gear, change gear, murder. That's a lot of effort in a day."

October 2009

He told Top Gear magazine that television bosses are ‘obsessed’ with hiring black Muslim lesbians.

“The problem is that television executives have got it into their heads that if one presenter on a show is a blond-haired, blue-eyed heterosexual boy, the other must be a black Muslim lesbian. Chalk and cheese, they reckon, works. But here we have Top Gear setting new records after six years using cheese and cheese. It confuses them.”

November 2011

Clarkson calls for striking workers to be executed in front of their families.

During an appearance on the One Show amid public sector strikes he of workers on the picket lines: "I'd have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families."

May 2014

Clarkson uses the N-word in a Top Gear outtake.

While reciting the children's nursery rhyme ‘eeny, meeny, miny, moe’ Clarkson was filmed saying “catch a n****r by the toe.”

Addressing the clip in a column for The Sun he said: “I’ve been told by the BBC that if I make one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time, I will be sacked.”

February 2015

Clarkson makes derogatory comments about Liverpool in a newspaper rant.

In a column for the Sunday Times, Clarkson said: “People up there earn less, die more quickly, have fewer jobs and live in houses that are worth the square root of sod all.”

March 2015

Clarkson’s Top Gear contract is not renewed after he allegedly punched a member of the show’s staff.

The BBC announced that he had been suspended from the programme and days later confirmed that he would not be returning to the programme. His co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond also left the programme.

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