Jeremy Clarkson snubs new BBC boss Tim Davie’s attempt to woo him back because he fears Corporation is too ‘right on’ for his controversial views
- Jeremy Clarkson, 60, was suspended from the BBC five years ago after row
- Presenter revealed he was recently invited to ‘come home’ to the Corporation
- He refused saying: ‘You just couldn’t say anything which I make my living from saying’
Jeremy Clarkson has rebuffed a bid by the BBC’s new boss to lure him back to the Corporation because he fears it has become too ‘right on’ to broadcast his controversial views.
The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? presenter revealed he was recently invited to ‘come home’ to the BBC by Tim Davie, who became its Director-General in September.
But Clarkson, 60, who stopped working for the Corporation five years ago when he was suspended for punching a Top Gear producer during a row over a late-night dinner at a hotel, refused the offer.
REBUFF: Clarkson, 60, doesn’t want to return to the BBC saying: ‘You just couldn’t say anything which I make my living from saying’
Describing Mr Davie as ‘a friend of mine from the old BBC days’ and ‘a nice chap’, Clarkson said: ‘He was saying the other day, ‘Oh, come home’. But the truth is, you’d struggle on the BBC now. It’s so unbelievably right on. You just couldn’t say anything which I make my living from saying.’
In an interview for the YouTube channel Grapevine, Clarkson, who co-hosts The Grand Tour for Amazon Prime, accused the BBC of no longer being interested in broadcasting a variety of views, and freezing out presenters who failed to be politically correct.
‘I think it is becoming very, very restrictive, which is a shame, because it [the BBC] is a good idea,’ he said.
Richard Hammond and James May, who co-presented Top Gear, also quit the show following Clarkson’s hotel fracas, which led to a £100,000 claim by the producer.
The trio then signed a deal with Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, whose firm paid £160 million for three series of The Grand Tour, with a fourth in the pipeline.
The presenter stopped working for the Corporation five years ago when he was suspended for punching a Top Gear producer during a row over a late-night dinner at a hotel
Clarkson, who is reported to have banked £48 million from his motoring programmes, is now filming I Bought A Farm for Amazon Prime Video about his attempt to run his 1,000-acre Cotswold Diddly Squat farm near Chipping Norton.
Echoing Clarkson’s criticism of the BBC as right on, veteran broadcaster Mark Mardell, 63, said its diversity drive will ‘annoy and dismay’ longstanding listeners and viewers.
On Friday, he said: ‘We do need to get young people and we do need to get people who feel unserved by the BBC. But it doesn’t mean you annoy and dismay your original, basic audience.’
Mardell, who tweeted last month that he was quitting the BBC, was its Europe Editor, North America Editor and hosted Radio 4’s The World At One and The World This Weekend in his 30-year career.
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