The former Top Gear presenter has cultivated his petrolhead image for years, but a recent interview lifts the lid on his Earth-loving side
Mon 27 May 2019
Name: Farmer Clarkson.
Appearance: Ruddy-faced, weirdly dressed, fond of a massive engine.
Is this the “Farmer” part or the “Clarkson” part? It is both, my friend, for the former Top Gear presenter has become an arable agriculture worker and is making an Amazon TV series all about doing so.
Jeremy Clarkson has a farm? You’re slow on the uptake today. Yes, Jeremy Clarkson has a 400-hectare (1,000 acre) arable farm near Chipping Norton called Diddly Squat, upon which he grows wheat, barley and oilseed rape.
Watching a man grow barley doesn’t sound like particularly gripping television. Ah, but it might be. Clarkson’s show – I Bought the Farm – is apparently going to be an unvarnished look at the ecological damage wrought by humankind’s reliance on agriculture.
Really? Kind of. Clarkson told the Sunday Times: “When you till the soil or plough in weeds, it releases carbon into the atmosphere. So you think: ‘OK, I won’t plough, I’ll just spray the weeds.’ But that’s bad for the bees. Every decision you make as a farmer is bad for some reason or another.”
And this is Jeremy Clarkson? Yes.
The same Jeremy Clarkson who once angered environmentalists by emitting 1.7 tonnes of carbon during a Top Gear episode in which he drove in the Arctic? Yes.
The same Jeremy Clarkson who only recently called Extinction Rebellion “happy clappy eco vicars”? Yes. His farm is carbon neutral, too.
What? He’s pretty much flexitarian these days.
WHAT?? In fairness, this isn’t the most drastic development. Between being sacked by the BBC and signing with Amazon four years ago, Clarkson publicly mooted the idea of making a Countryfile rival for ITV “where there was death and blood and opinion”. This has clearly been on his mind for some time.
Is this all for show, just to get him back on TV? Unlikely. He has owned the farm for a decade and is committed to reintroducing native plants and animals. He has replanted hawthorn, beech, maize, sunflower and mustard, and cleared streams, and it has apparently become a haven for endangered wild birds.
And, just to be absolutely clear, we are talking about the same Jeremy Clarkson here? Yes. Paunchy, horrible denim, a bit violent sometimes. Same one.
But he sounds so great now. Pardon?
Everyone thought Jeremy Clarkson was a straight-talking carbon-emitting man-of-the-people petrolhead, but he’s really a happy-clappy hedge-planting flexitarian maize-hugger. Does the Guardian now love Jeremy Clarkson? He’ll be thrilled when he hears.
Do say: “I can’t wait to watch Clarkson’s farming show.”
Don’t say: “Until he’s sacked for punching a scarecrow.”
From Top Gear to the top field: how Jeremy Clarkson became an eco-friendly farmer | The Guardian
The former Top Gear presenter has cultivated his petrolhead image for years, but a recent interview lifts the lid on his Earth-loving side Mon 27 May 2019 Name: Farmer Clarkson. Age: 59. Appearance: Ruddy-faced, weirdly dressed, fond of a massive engine. Is this the “Farmer” part or the “Clarkson” part? It is both, my friend,… [Read More]