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Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson.jpg
Clarkson in 2006
Born
Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson

11 April 1960 (1960-04-11) (age 61)
Education Hill House School, Doncaster
Repton School
Honorary Doctor of Engineering
Occupation Journalist, presenter, columnist, writer
Years active 1988–present
Employer
Known for
  • The Grand Tour
  • Top Gear (2002–15)
  • Top Gear (1988–98)
  • Jeremy Clarkson's Motorworld
  • Robot Wars
  • Jeremy Clarkson's Extreme Machines
  • Clarkson
  • Clarkson's Car Years
  • Speed
Home town Doncaster, England
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Spouse(s)
  • Alexandra James
    (m. 1989; div. 1990)
  • Frances Cain
    (m. 1993; div. 2014)
Children 3

Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson (born 11 April 1960) is an English broadcaster, journalist and writer who specialises in motoring. He is best known for co-presenting the BBC TV show Top Gear with Richard Hammond and James May from October 2002 to March 2015. He was ranked 49th on Motor Trend Magazine's Power List for 2011. It lists the fifty most influential figures in the automotive industry.

Career

Top Gear Live Italia, 2014 Richard Hammond, James May, Jeremy Clarkson
Top Gear presentationists Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson during Top Gear Live Italy in 2014

From a career as a local journalist in northern England, Clarkson rose to public prominence as a presenter of the original format of Top Gear in 1988. Since the mid-1990s, he has become a recognised public personality, regularly appearing on British television presenting his own shows for BBC and appearing as a guest on other shows. As well as motoring, Clarkson has produced programmes and books on subjects such as history and engineering. In 1998 he hosted the first series of Robot Wars, and from 1998 to 2000 he also hosted his own talk show, Clarkson.

Clarkson writes regular columns in the tabloid newspaper The Sun, and for the broadsheet newspaper The Sunday Times. His columns in the Times are republished in The Weekend Australian newspaper. He also writes for the "Wheels" section of the Toronto Star.

In 2015 the BBC decided not to renew Clarkson's contract with the company after a dispute with a Top Gear producer while filming on location. That year, Clarkson and his Top Gear co-presenters and producer Andy Wilman formed the production company W. Chump & Sons to produce The Grand Tour for Amazon Video. In 2018 he presented the 20th anniversary specials of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? for ITV.

His opinionated but humorous writing and presenting style has often provoked public reaction. His actions as a Top Gear presenter have also sometimes resulted in criticism from the media, politicians, pressure groups and the public. He also has a significant public following, being credited as a major factor in the resurgence of Top Gear as one of the most popular shows on the BBC.

Engineering interests

Bugatti veyron in Tokyo
Bugatti veyron in Tokyo

Clarkson is passionate about engineering, especially pioneering work. In Inventions That Changed the World Clarkson showed the invention of the gun, computer, jet engine, telephone and television. He has previously criticised the engineering feats of the 20th century as mostly improvements on the truly great inventions of the Industrial Revolution. 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.

In a Top Gear episode, Clarkson drove the Bugatti Veyron in a race across Europe against a Cessna private aeroplane, which he won. The Veyron was an £850,000 technology demonstrator project built by Volkswagen to become the fastest production car, but a practical road car at the same time.

Presenter

Year Title Channel Notes
1988–2000 Top Gear BBC Two
1995–1996 Jeremy Clarkson's Motorworld 13 episodes
1997 Jeremy Clarkson's Extreme Machines 1 series (6 episodes)
1998 Robot Wars 1 series (6 episodes)
1998–2000 Clarkson 3 series (27 episodes)
2000 Jeremy Clarkson's Car Years 1 series (6 episodes)
2001 Jeremy Clarkson's Speed 1 series (6 episodes)
2001 You Don't Want to Do That 1 series
2002 Jeremy Clarkson: Meets the Neighbours BBC Two 5 episodes
2002–2015 Top Gear 22 series (175 episodes + 11 specials)
2003 The Victoria Cross: For Valour One–off
2004 Inventions That Changed the World BBC Two 1 series (5 episodes)
2007 Jeremy Clarkson: The Greatest Raid of All Time One–off
2014 PQ17: An Arctic Convoy Disaster One–off
2016–present The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video 3 series
2018 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? ITV 1 series (7 episodes)

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