Fans flocked to Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm today as questions continue to be asked about his future as host of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire following his comments about Meghan Markle.
ITV has committed to another series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? with Clarkson as host, but has not commissioned another series with him, leading to claims that he has been ‘cancelled’.
But the ongoing controversy hasn’t deterred his loyal fans, who formed twisting queues today outside his farm shop in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire – with Google data showing the site was busier than usual.
The ITV boss today addressed rumors about his future, insisting it was normal not to have any more series made when there are outstanding series that have not yet been filmed, while Clarkson himself took to Twitter to insist he was not ‘dismissed’.
The ongoing controversy over Jeremy Clarkson has not deterred his fans, who formed long queues outside his farm shop in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, today
Clarkson has attempted to build a restaurant on the site (pictured today), but his hopes have been thwarted by planning inspectors
“As we have said for several weeks, ITV is contractually committed to a new series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, which is now filmed,” Dame Carolyn McCall told a press call.
“There are currently no further commission commitments, as is typical with such shows where we make assignment decisions on a series-by-series basis.
Therefore, for the avoidance of doubt, neither Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? nor Jeremy Clarkson have been canceled. I think that’s as clear as possible.’
The broadcaster’s position as host of the quiz show was called into question in December when he said in a column for The Sun that he “hated” Meghan and dreamed of her being paraded through British cities.
Dame Carolyn was asked if she was concerned about the impact on the brand and said, ‘No, I think we handled it pretty well.
“We’ve been very clear… Kevin (Lygo, Managing Director of Media and Entertainment at ITV) has been very open about the appalling comments.
“I said there’s no place for those comments on ITV and they weren’t on ITV, they were in The Sun.
“So, no, I don’t think there’s a wash on the brand.”
Long queues outside Clarkson’s farm shop this morning in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire
On the farm, the host films his Amazon Prime series, Clarkson’s Farm
Clarkson has taken to Twitter to insist he wasn’t ‘fired’
Clarkson’s piece in The Sun became the Independent Press Standards Organization’s (Ipso) most-complained article.
Former Top Gear host Clarkson, who now has several Amazon shows including The Grand Tour, later apologized for the piece.
He said his language was “disgraceful” and that he was “deeply sorry.”
The Sun also apologized and said it regretted publishing the column, which was removed from its website.
Mr Lygo previously said Clarkson’s comments about Meghan were “terrible” but “at the moment” the broadcaster intended to keep him as host of the ITV quiz show.
Elsewhere, ITV was asked about the investigation by broadcast media regulator Ofcom into Nicola Bulley’s family’s claim that their privacy had been breached by the broadcaster’s news channel and Sky News.
Dame Carolyn said: ‘We have said that as a responsible broadcaster we are fully cooperating with Ofcom. Ofcom are investigating both Sky and ITV and we are waiting for their investigations to be completed.”
Heavy traffic on the roads outside Diddly Squat in Oxfordshire this morning
ITV has committed to another series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? with Clarkson as host, but has not commissioned another series with him, leading to claims that he has been ‘cancelled’. These have been denied by ITV
When asked about her reaction to the inquiry, she added: ‘I think we won’t say anything until Ofcom has thoroughly looked into it.
“I mean, we are a responsible broadcaster, we take it very seriously. So less said, I think at the moment.’
Ofcom previously said it was “deeply concerned” by comments from Ms Bulley’s family to the press after the body of the 45-year-old was recovered from the River Wyre in Lancashire last month.
Speaking at a press conference at Lancashire Police Headquarters, Ms Bulley’s family said in a statement: ‘We tried to record what we were told that day last night but Sky News and ITV (News) contacted us directly when we explicitly asked for privacy.
“They have taken it upon themselves again to spread stories about us to sell newspapers and increase their own profits. It is outrageous that they acted this way. Now leave us alone.’
The way the case was handled by the police has been referred to the College of Policing, the Independent Office for Police Conduct and the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Clarkson wrote in The Sun in December that he “hated” the Duchess of Sussex (pictured with Prince Harry) and wanted to see her parade naked through the streets while people threw “excrement” at her