Clarkson hopes to ‘appear on BBC all the time’

Jeremy ClarksonImage copyright

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Clarkson said he didn’t think the BBC should have to reveal talent salaries

Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson, whose new Amazon show launches later this month, says he still hopes to “appear on the BBC all the time”.

Clarkson left the BBC’s popular Top Gear show under a cloud in 2015 after punching producer Oisin Tymon.

He said: “I was never sacked from the BBC, they just didn’t renew my contract on Top Gear.”

Speaking to the Radio Times, he added: “I haven’t left. I’ve just done QI and Have I Got News for You.”

But he said he was enjoying one aspect of working with Amazon on new show The Grand Tour that he didn’t experience at the BBC.

“The really big difference between Amazon and the BBC is when we finish a film on The Grand Tour, Amazon ring us up and squeak, ‘It’s brilliant, we love it!’… You never got that from the BBC.”

However, in a separate interview, Clarkson praised the BBC for the way it nurtured talent.

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The Grand Tour reunites Clarkson with Hammond and May

He said it is a “brilliant organisation for letting you grow”.

“Everything I know about making television I learnt from the BBC,” he said.

“How long were we bumbling around on BBC Two? Three or four years I suppose? Awful. (We made) terrible mistakes and nobody was really watching and then after Richard Hammond went upside down, everybody started to watch.

“By then the show had got quite good. So (the BBC) is very good at letting a show develop and grow, until it becomes the masterpiece that is Autumnwatch now.”

He added: “The Beeb was tremendous. They were bloody good people.”

Salaries revealed

He also defended the corporation over talent salaries.

He described the new Royal Charter as “disgusting” for demanding all BBC employees who earn more than £150,000 must reveal their salaries.

“Nobody talks about their earnings. You just don’t do it,” said Clarkson.

“I think if you’re going to put somebody in a management position running the BBC, for example, Tony Hall, you would assume and hope he is capable of deciding who gets paid what, and he doesn’t have to explain it to every single Tom, Dick and Harry in the country.”

The Grand Tour reunites Clarkson with his ex-Top Gear colleagues James May, Richard Hammond and producer Andy Wilman.

It launches on 18 November on Amazon Prime.

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