The Grand Tour

Clarkson’s Farm: Reason Behind Jeremy Clarkson Starting Diddly Squat Farm Revealed

Jeremy Clarkson’s land agent, “Cheerful Charlie” Ireland, has spoken in an interview about why the Grand Tour host decided to start his Diddly Squat Farm, which is featured on the Prime Video series Clarkson’s Farm.

Ireland started off by explaining how he had met the former Top Gear host all those years ago. He said:

“I first started working for Jeremy when a colleague phoned me up and said ‘I have a chap who wants to buy a farm.’ And I said, ‘oh, okay that’s good.’ He said ‘It’s in the Cotswolds.’ And at this time I was based in Chelmsford. This was back in 2009.”

“But I went to meet Jeremy and his wife Frances, and they were investing in a thousand acres in the Cotswolds, which was part of the old Sarton estate. And the Sarton estate was owned by Roddy Fleming, as in the Fleming Bank. So he bought parcel of that estate.”

The land agent went on to explain the parcel of land that was to become the Diddly Squat Farm. He explained:

“It’s a beautiful part of the world. Just in between, it’s in the even load Valley in between Chipping Norton and Charlbury. And Jeremy was very busy, Top Gear was still going. Um, that evolved into the other one, which I don’t watch, what’s it called? The Grand Tour, sorry.”

Clarkson took over the farm in 2019 when the farmer he had looking after it decided to retire. Ireland explained what happened in more detail.

“I had phoned Jeremy, and I said ‘bad news, Jeremy. Your contractor is retiring.’ And, he said, ‘oh, that is bad news. Why?’ And I said, ‘well, the beneficiaries of the farm that he’s a tenant of have decided that they’re quite keen on selling their 400 acre farm for 23 million.’

“So we then had several meetings and after about 10 days Jeremy phoned me up and said, ‘I’ve had an idea, I’m going to farm it myself.’

“And then he said, ‘you are wondering why I’m gonna do it, because I’m going to make a TV program.’ So, you know, the idea came and the reason he was going to make a TV program was because he was contracted to Amazon to make a TV program and he thought, well, let’s do one from home”

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