On Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, which he hosts each Thursday, Jeremy Clarkson was joined by comedians Meera Syal and Jim Moir in an attempt to win £1 million for charity. This is the second of a series of Celebrity Special episodes aired this week. Since the mid-Nineties, The Grand Tour presenter has developed a reputation for being an outspoken voice, often saying what people are thinking and prompting debate with his outspoken viewpoints in various newspaper columns.
Earlier this year, Clarkson proposed a strategy to “sidestep” cancel culture in his column for The Sunday Times. Instead of getting upset about cancel culture and “shoulder-sagging intolerance of younger snowflake people”, he suggested that he would “tune out” if they addressed him in person, and change the channel if they appeared on his television screen.
“And I could be up here, on a hill in Oxfordshire, wanting to sprinkle diced guillemot into her morning Paltrow juice.
“And it wouldn’t matter. Because I wouldn’t be listening to them and they wouldn’t be listening to me.”
He acknowledged, though, that the problem with this plan is his regular newspaper columns and the many books he’s previously written.
He wrote that a portion of his previous week’s column had been deleted since it would “be deeply offensive to the spotty and hormonal Hoxton” and someone had to write a passage that “sounded as if it had been written by me.”
There was a clear change the the presenter had to make: “I shall say what I’m not thinking instead.”
He stated that he would remove all photographs of his grandfather, a GP who began practicing in the early Twenties, from his home. “It’s entirely possible that he attended to the wellbeing of people who had profited in some way from slavery. Which of course makes him the personification of evil.” Clarkson wrote.
Clarkson recalled his grandfather shedding a tear at the funeral of Winston Churchill, to which he jokingly stated it “indicates very clearly to me that he supported racism in all its forms”.
He spoke about his experience meeting a young lady the previous week, who helped him grasp issues with gender “complexities.” He wrote: “You just pick anything you identify as, and then that’s who, or what, you are.” The “silly old men” opposing to this, Clarkson joked, are “missing the point”.
He commented: “Last weekend, after a particularly determined drinking session, I woke in the morning and, because I could not move and felt very top-heavy and wooden, decided to identify as a hat stand. This meant that someone else made my breakfast.”
He advised that it would be “useful” to tell a police officer if you fail a breathalyzer exam: “Aha, yes, officer. I may well be drunk. But I identify as a sober person, so I’ll be on my way.” He did, however, state that Boris Johnson most likely would not approve of this.
Clarkson called for the privileged to be aware of the challenges faced by those less fortunate than themselves, as well as how “no one can know what it’s like to be a woman unless they are actually a woman,” or “mansplaining.”
He explained: “You need to understand, once you’ve spotted someone without your privilege, that you should give them your Bentley. Then the next day, when they see you waiting for the bus, they should give it back.”Thinking the same thoughts as everyone else would be “refreshing”, he wrote.
“It worked with climate change,” said Clarkson, riddled with sarcasm. “There was a time when the subject could be discussed,” he added, “but then the BBC announced that there would be no debate and that anyone who questioned whether man was involved in global warming was a ‘climate change denier.’
“Suddenly everyone was onside. Like we are today on meat, the Royal Family, trans issues, mental health and colour. It’s so much easier that way.”
His lighthearted remarks have regularly caused a stir, and he is now afraid of the reaction they might get.
Clarkson wrote in The Sun in August, he “edits himself” when out and about, “fearful I may say something that brings down the wrath of the woke army on my head”. His pals are also “frightened to death” about being canceled, he revealed.