Jeremy Clarkson struck a contrite note earlier this week in his first interview since being dropped from Top Gear. Talking to Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2, Jeremy said that his departure from the show was “my own silly fault” and said that the absence of Top Gear had “left a huge hole” in his life.
“It was very much my baby,” he said. “I absolutely adored it and I worked all the time on it, I worked all through the night on it.”
In the same interview, Jeremy also confirmed that the former Top Gear team had received a rush of offers from rival broadcasters, but said they would take their time to consider their next move.
“I have been at the BBC for 27 years,” he told Evans. “When you emerge after 27 years, you find the world is changed. When you learn how the world works, you can start to work out what to do. In the meantime I’m getting really good at tennis. My forehand has improved immeasurably.”
While Jeremy denied that he was in negotiations with a TV company, rumours are circulating that he and his colleagues are talking to the video-streaming service Netflix. The Daily Mirror reported last week that if Netflix picked up the former Top Gear team it would call their show “House of Cars” – a reference to the remake of political drama House of Cards, with which it made its name. But we’d bet against this because let’s face it, it sounds terrible. Sky & ITV have also been linked to Jeremy’s TV comeback.
In the short term, the boys have kicked off their series of live shows, which Jeremy has called “the most badly organised world tour in history”. Previously called Top Gear Live, the events have been renamed Clarkson, Hammond and May Live in order to sever links with the BBC-owned brand.
However, Clarkson said that the tour, which begins in Belfast earlier in the week, was “Top Gear in all but name” and described its contents as “broadly the same thing it’s been for the last 10 years,” he added.
Jeremy Clarkson says he is ‘fed up’ with media scrutiny
In a conversation on Twitter, Jeremy Clarkson said that he is “fed up” with the constant media attention he has received since his so-called “fracas” with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon.
Twitter user Siena Sapphire tweeted “Anyone else sick of hearing about Jeremy Clarkson? Nothing particularly against him, but why is his every move / word still in the news?”, to which Jeremy replied “I do like me but even I’m fed up with it.”
In another exchange, Jeremy appeared to confirm that he is planning to return to television. One of the 55-year-old presenter’s followers, Ross Best, tweeted “My eldest who has autism loved Top Gear and was upset when it ended. He has watched all your episodes from 1st to last.” Jeremy replied “Oh it wasn’t the last, you can be sure of that.”
Jeremy Clarkson paid £1m by BBC in Top Gear deal
If all the media scrutiny has left Jeremy feeling a bit pissed off, he can take some solace in the fact that he will receive up to £1m from the BBC for the Top Gear rights he sold to the corporation three years ago, according to reports.
Jeremy’s company, Bedder 6, sold the 50 per cent stake it owned in the motoring programme in 2012 in a deal said to be worth £15m. It included an ‘earn-out’ clause, which set up a sliding scale of payments that would be triggered when the BBC achieved certain goals.
“As is common practice in such deals the payments were staggered over several years,” a source told the Daily Mirror. “This is the latest, and possibly final, ‘earn out’ that BBC Worldwide have paid out since they bought 100 per cent of Top Gear in 2012.”
Jeremy’s school friend and long-time creative partner, Andy Wilman, will receive an earn-out payment of £500,000, the Daily Mirror reports. But Richard Hammond and James May will receive nothing, because neither of them had any stake in Top Gear.
Jeremy’s net worth is thought to be in the realm of £55m. The presenter set up a new company – Newincco – in 2012 with his estranged wife Frances. As of May 2014, Newincco had assets of £1.2m.
The BBC says that neither Jeremy nor Andy received severance payments when their contracts were allowed to lapse. The pair both declined to comment on the earn-out payment.
Jeremy Clarkson hints at TV return during Belfast live show
Jeremy Clarkson has raised expectations that he and his co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May will soon begin work on a successor to Top Gear by confirming that broadcasters are queueing up to discuss what he called “our TV programme”.
The former Top Gear trio performed three shows in Belfast as their stadium show got underway several months later than originally scheduled due to the “fracas” that brought Jeremy’s tenure as host of the world’s most popular motoring show to a premature close. During the first performances of the show, Clarkson entered the stage in a hovercraft to the tune of Eye Of The Tiger, before dropping hints that he may be preparing a new television show. He said: “We have had a lot of interest from all around the world in our TV programme and who knows what may happen.”
According to the Daily Star, the show was “laced with irony” and “predictably politically incorrect”, with jokes at the expense of the French.
The show also featured a parade of supercars, a segment in which the presenters raced in three-wheeled Reliant Robins and the “Top Gear live show staple” of car football, where stunt performers attempted to score goals by shunting a giant ball around with their cars.
The live show will next visit Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena from 5-7 June, before heading to Johannesburg for 12-14 June, Stavanger for 19-21 June, Perth, Australia, for 18-19 July, Sydney for 25-26 July, Warsaw for 24 October and finally London for 28-29 November.