Mark Solomons

The problem with Jeremys

  • From Spectator Life
Jeremy Clarkson in 1997 (Allstar/Globe Photos/Alamy)

Why is Jeremy Clarkson in trouble so often? Is it because he often appears arrogant, entitled or untouchable? Or is it for a much simpler reason: he’s called Jeremy?

This week, in a column for the Sun, he suggested a rather unsavoury Game of Thrones-style punishment for the Duchess of Sussex. The article prompted 20,000 complaints to Ipso – more than the press regulator received in the whole of last year – and led to 64 MPs signing a letter of complaint to the paper’s editor.

Clarkson has made a grudging non-apology and persuaded the paper to remove the article from its website, but unsurprisingly this is unlikely to satisfy the lynch mob already digging out those pitchforks ready to march on his well-publicised farm.

As for the man himself, opinions over the years tend to be polarised between those who think he is a bully who once punched a Top Gear colleague for no reason and those who adore him for once punching Piers Morgan for, probably, a very good reason. But I would suggest there’s a much simpler reason why he annoys so many people and, perhaps, why he thinks he can do what he likes and get away with it. And that’s because of the name he was given at birth. 

It is the kind of name one associates with the loud posh bloke in the pub who discovered late in middle age that he was a lifelong Chelsea fan and thinks Britain’s going to hell in a handcart

It is the kind of name one associates with the posh bloke in the pub whose voice is louder than all the others: who discovered late in middle age that he was a lifelong Chelsea fan, thinks Britain’s going to hell in a handcart and, crucially, never thinks he is wrong even when the evidence is overwhelming.

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