This week marks the eagerly anticipated return of Jeremy Clarkson to our screens, as The Grand Tour airs for the first time on Amazon.
Jeremy Clarkson is one of the most divisive broadcasters around – to some he is the outspoken mouthpiece of middle England, a man who speaks his mind, completely free (or unaware) of the shackles of political correctness.
To others he is the living embodiment of foot-in-mouth disease, whose every utterance serves only to offend somebody somewhere in his ongoing quest for outspoken notoriety.
The truth, however, probably lies somewhere in between – after all, Clarkson, like many other journalists, has column inches to fill, TV shows to promote, and books to sell, and with such a larger than life public persona, pretty much any publicity is good publicity.
So does Clarkson play the media game to perfection – outspoken without ever quite crossing the line? Or is he the public face of angry Britain, never afraid to vent his spleen no matter who he offends?
You decide, here are our top worst Clarkson quotes on…
10. Supercars and the environment
“Supercars are supposed to run over Arthur Scargill and then run over him again for good measure. They are designed to melt ice caps, kill the poor, poison the water table, destroy the ozone layer, decimate indigenous wildlife, recapture the Falkland Islands and turn the entire third world into a huge uninhabitable desert, all that before they nicked all the oil in the world”
9. The Renault Clio V6
“I think the problem is that it’s French. It’s a surrendermonkey.”
8. HGV drivers
“What matters to lorry drivers? Murdering prostitutes? Fuel economy?”
7. The Aston Martin DB9 (and Keira Knightley)
“I’m sorry, but having a DB9 on the drive and not driving it is a bit like having Keira Knightley in your bed and sleeping on the couch. If you’ve got even half a scrotum it’s not going to happen.”
6. Lamborghini’s climate control
“The air-conditioning in Lamborghinis used to be an asthmatic sitting in the dashboard blowing at you through a straw.”
5. The Porsche Cayman S
“There are many things I’d rather be doing than driving it, including waiting for Bernard Manning to come off stage in a sweaty nightclub, and then licking his back clean.”
4. A (wonky) bridge on the River Kwai?
“That is a proud moment – but there’s a slope on it.” Far from being an innocent reference to a lopsided bridge the Top Gear team had just built, this was thought to be a racial slur at the man walking across the bridge.
Clarkson then made reference to this in the Top Gear Patagonia special, asking co-host Richard Hammond “…is it straight?” while stood at the foot of another bridge they had assembled.
3. The Ferrari F430 Speciale
After previously offending people with disabilities by parking an electric car in a disabled bay, Clarkson took things further with his description of the Ferrari F430 Speciale, saying: “[it looks] a bit wrong … that smiling front end … it looked like a simpleton … [it] should have been called the 430 Speciale Needs”.
2. The Suzuki Wagon R
“You do not just avoid the Suzuki Wagon R. You avoid it like you would avoid unprotected sex with an Ethiopian transvestite.”
1. On the Audi R8 (and Keira Knightley, again)
“Driving most supercars is like trying to manhandle a cow up a back staircase, but this is like smearing honey onto Keira Knightley.”
What did we miss? Leave your favourite Clarkson quip in the comments!