Jeremy Clarkson axed as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Jeremy Clarkson is axed as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host: ITV boss who ‘forced out Piers Morgan’ confirms star will step down after next season – after Meghan Markle column fallout
Jeremy Clarkson has been axed as the host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, ITV confirmed today, following the presenter’s highly controversial Meghan Markle column.
The 62-year-old wrote in the Sun newspaper in December that he ‘hated’ the Duchess of Sussex and wanted to see her paraded through the streets naked while people throw ‘excrement’ at her – apparently referencing a public shaming scene from the fantasy TV series Game of Thrones.
Last month, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) said it was launching an investigation into the column after it received more than 25,100 complaints.
The backlash led to speculation that his hit shows on Amazon Prime – Clarkson’s Farm and The Grand Tour – were cancelled after bosses at the streaming service were left ‘incandescent’ at the fallout.
Fans of the former Top Gear host feared he was being effectively ‘cancelled’ after ITV then failed to confirm that he would continue as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Jeremy Clarkson has been axed as the host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, ITV confirmed today, following the presenter’s highly controversial Meghan Markle column
Clarkson wrote in the Sun newspaper in December that he ‘hated’ the Duchess of Sussex (pictured with Prince Harry) and wanted to see her paraded through the streets naked while people throw ‘excrement’ at her
READ MORE: Jeremy Clarkson will make more than Diddly Squat out of this! Fans form massive queues as TV star’s farm shop reopens for first weekend after its winter closure
ITV boss Carolyn McCall confirmed that he would not continue in his post today, reports the Mirror.
‘We have a contract. We’re contracted to this [season], so we will do that,’ said McCall, adding: ‘And then we have no future commitments.’
It comes after a special celebrity episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was reportedly shelved after three female stars refused to work alongside host Clarkson.
The official line from ITV was reportedly that ‘scheduling issues’ delayed production of the highly anticipated special, but The Mirror reported behind the scenes chaos prompted the decision.
A source said: ‘The feelings were made very loud, and very clear. Namely that they didn’t want to share a platform with Clarkson and, in doing so, risk being seen to legitimise his misogynistic comments.
‘They were appearing on the show to raise money for charity, and they were acutely aware that they didn’t want causes special to their heart to be caught up in any backlash. It was a no-brainer to be honest, they had to walk away.’
The women – all household names – reportedly hoped to avoid being associated with the star.
The decision to delay filming of the special was first reported by the Daily Mail’s Alison Boshoff last month. Then, ITV had also put the decision down to scheduling conflicts.
The studio, crew and celebrities were all booked to attend the Dock 10 studio in Manchester and arrangements for the programmes – which would have raised money for charity – were finalised.
An email said: ‘Owing to some movement in the ITV schedules, we’re now unable to record the planned Celebrity specials until later this year.’
Clarkson’s standard edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? was scheduled to begin filming last month – a contractual obligation on behalf of the network.
Jeremy Clarkson’s hit farming show will return for a third season, the former Top Gear co-host revealed. Pictured: Clarkson at Diddly Squat farm
Clarkson told a fan who asked whether a third season was in the works that ‘there is one’
The store has raised its prices over the last two years, with some products hundreds of per cent higher than high street supermarkets like Aldi
But ITV bosses have now effectively said this will be Clarkson’s last, as they have no ‘commitment’ to further editions with him as the host.
Clarkson is thought to be paid about £3 million a year to present the hit quiz show, having taken over from Chris Tarrant in 2018.
While he may not be continuing on Millionaire, there is good news for fans of Clarkson’s Farm, as the star confirmed in February that there will be a third series – despite fears that it had been axed by Amazon Prime.
Clarkson received glowing reviews on social media after the new season came out last month, as well as massive queues outside his newly reopened Diddly Squat farm shop in Chadlington, West Oxfordshire.
Binge-watching fans on social media demanded another season of Clarkson’s Farm after viewing the second series of the show in one weekend.
Clarkson told a fan who asked if a third season was in the works that ‘there is one’.
It came despite the fallout from his column, which became Ipso’s most complained-about article.
Clarkson and The Sun both apologised for the piece and it was later removed from the newspaper’s website. He also said his language was ‘disgraceful’ and he was ‘profoundly sorry’.
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