Jeremy Clarkson has had a long and varied career, from his early life of stuffing bears for his parents to becoming the lead presenter on one of the largest TV shows in the world. Over this time he’s had plenty of controversial moments, but more importantly, he’s created moments of TV that have become iconic. Here are some of those iconic moments from his time at Top Gear and The Grand Tour.
Walking on water
During the Middle East Special of Top Gear, Clarkson suddenly became, who he would call, the b’by Jesus. Surprising his co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May, he was stood on the surface of the water, shouting: “I am walking on water now!”
James looks at him in disbelief and tells him “walk over there”, pointing a few feet to Jeremy’s right. He does and immediately falls into the water.
“Miraculous that, mate,” Richard says before Jeremy shouts again: “I’ve invented swimming!”
“Oh no! Anyway…”
One of Jeremy’s most legendary quotes: “Oh no! Anyway…,” was forever immortalised on Top Gear after James mentioned his favourite car in a news segment. Since then, it has been used in memes across the internet.
Clarkson even said himself that if one of his fellow presenters were to die, this is how he’d react.
No motorbikes on the Cool Wall!
Top Gear created something incredible with the Cool Wall, but Jeremy was adamant that while many cars of different levels of cool adorned it, it would never home a motorcycle. So when Hammond tries his luck by putting a Ducatti on the wall, Clarkson quickly grabs a chainsaw and demolishes the image.
The crowd cheers as Jeremy rips through the photo as Hammond looks on.
“Touched a nerve there, I think,” Hammond tells the camera.
Jeremy describes America
In one of his more controversial moments on Top Gear, Jeremy describes what he thinks the country is like from a holiday maker’s point of view.
“Everybody’s very fat, everybody’s very stupid,” he says. “And everybody’s very rude.”
“It’s not a holiday program, it’s the truth.”
It’s safe to say he made a lot of Americans unhappy with that clip, but it still remains one of the most memorable of the early days of Top Gear. And regardless of what he thought of America, the trio’s American trips were some of the best they ever did.
Jeremy on lorry drivers
In one of Top Gear’s greatest moments, the trio each buy a set of lorries and compete with each other as to who’s bought the best one. But during this film, Jeremy says some things which get him into trouble with Ofcom…
“What matters to lorry drivers? Murdering prostitutes? Fuel economy?” he asks. “This is a hard job [driving a lorry] and I’m not just saying this to win favour with lorry drivers: change gear; change gear; change gear; check your mirrors; murder a prostitute … ”
They later cleared him, but it will always be one of his funniest moments.
Jeremy’s undercover racing driver
No, not the Stig. This was during The Grand Tour when our beloved Stig had left us and stayed for the new Top Gear without Clarkson, Hammond, and May. But, thanks to Abbie Eaton, we feel okay about it.
But anyway, during a trip to a Swiss hill climb – yes, that one – Jeremy couldn’t actually fit in the Lamborghini Aventador he’d chosen to drive for that film, so instead found an Italian racing driver to stand in for him.
Before he set off, he taught him some standard Clarkson mannerisms.
“Hammond, you idiot!” was one of them. Another one, and possibly his most famous was: “This is the fastest car – pause – in the world”. Unfortunately, the Italian driver kept the “pause” in the sentence, leaving us laughing all the way up until, well… you know what happened.