Jeremy Clarkson has talked about the worst point of his life while he suffered from bullying at his boarding school, Repton School. There, he was “made to lick the lavatories clean” and suffered “all the usual humiliations that public school used back then to turn a small boy into a gibbering, sobbing, suicidal wreck”.
Before The Grand Tour presenter started school at Repton, his father gave him a watch that quickly became his prize possession: an Omega Geneve Dynamic watch. Clarkson made sure that whenever he saw his bullies coming, his watch would be locked away and out of their reach. He opened up about this bullying during a column for The Sunday Times.
“As the years dragged by I suffered many terrible things,” he wrote. “I was thrown on an hourly basis into the icy plunge pool, dragged from my bed in the middle of the night and beaten, make to lick the lavatories clean and all the usual humiliations that public school used back then to turn a small boy into a gibbering, sobbing, suicidal wreck.
“In the first two years the older boys broke pretty much everything I owned. They glued my records together, snapped my compass, ate my biscuits, defecated in my tuck box and cut my trousers in half with a pair of garden shears, but I made sure when I heard them coming that my watch was safely locked away.”
Now, with Clarkson being a leading automotive journalist and TV presenter with shows such as Top Gear under his belt, he reminds himself when things get bad, that they could be much worse by looking at this same watch and reminding himself of his times at school.
He takes it out to “wind it up and remind myself that no matter how awful life might be, it was, from 1973 to 1975, one hell of a lot worse”.
Clarkson was recently threatened on Twitter, as this user called him the “ultimate” bully, saying, “I hate bullies and you are the ultimate one. You better hope we never meet face to face I have big plans”.
Clarkson replied very simply:
“Yes. Let’s hope we don’t meet. You look awful,” he said.