Jeremy Clarkson snub: How Grand Tour star faced brutal ‘manhood’ jibe after TV stunt

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Jeremy Clarkson became renowned for some of his quirky stunts on motoring show ‘Top Gear’, alongside co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond. Their antics continued on ‘The Grand Tour’ after the star left the BBC in 2015 following a dispute with a producer. Despite the gang’s popularity with TV audiences, some groups have looked less favourably upon Jeremy’s actions. They include cycling groups, environmental activists, the police and a number of others. One of whom decried the star’s car stunts as outrageous and attention seeking. The need to perform larger-than-life stunts may have been explained this weekend, after Jeremy revealed the hosts had to pay their studio audience. He told podcast ‘The Drive Through’ that “very few people were watching” and they had to bribe people to stay on-set because they were “bored”. 

While Jeremy, James and Richard enjoy their fame today, it once wasn’t as easy to keep their viewers engaged – which according to the stars led to more outrageous idea suggestions in meetings. 

One of those notable events could have included Jeremy driving a 4×4 vehicle through Ben Tongue, a mountain in Scotland, which was known for being precious and unspoiled land. 

It wasn’t the first controversy the star ignited having previously joked that great white sharks should be eaten to the point of extinction, Birmingham should be flooded and deliberately ramming a car into a tree. 

During this era on the BBC show, environmental enthusiasts had dubbed his actions irresponsible and one accused him of turning “motorways into playgrounds”.

Initially he disregarded their concerns over climate change but in the years that followed admitted to witnessing the effects of it first hand. 

Prior to the revelation, he said: “Let’s just stop and think for a moment what the consequences might be. 

“Switzerland loses its skiing resorts? The beach in Miami is washed away? North Carolina gets knocked over by a hurricane? Anything bothering you yet?”

But while filming in Cambodia in 2019, when his boat got stuck in a dried-up river in Southeast Asia, he declared the event a “graphic demonstration of global warming”. 

A number of commentators posed their own theories as to why Jeremy harboured such “provocative positions” – but the recent admission may suggest it was to ensure their show was a success.

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While many of the stunts proved a success on the small screen, many faced backlash from campaign groups – including when he drove over Ben Tongue.

His critics included Dave Morris, the director of the National Ramblers Association, who branded the move “highly irresponsible” in a 2005 Independent article. 

He said: “Driving to the top of a mountain over open ground is inevitably going to cause damage to the countryside.”

Environmental writer George Monbiot further lambasted the star’s woodland destructive decision during an interview on BBC Radio 2’s ‘Jeremy Vine’ show.

He said: “I suggest that instead of getting into an overpowered 4×4 and ripping up the countryside, he responds to one of those emails which offers to enhance the size of his manhood.” 

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