ITV CEO defends handling of Jeremy Clarkson's comments about Meghan

Fans flock to Jeremy Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm as presenter’s future with Who Wants To Be a Millionaire hangs in the balance following Meghan Markle comments

  • READ MORE: Clarkson’s Farm becomes one of the most watched series in the UK 

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 one more series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? with Clarkson as host but has not commissioned any further series featuring him, leading to claims he has been ‘cancelled’.

But the continuing controversy has done nothing to put off his loyal fans, who were seen today forming snaking queues outside his farmshop in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire – with Google data showing the site was busier than normal. 

The boss of ITV addressed rumours about his future today, insisting it was normal practice not to commission further series when there are outstanding ones that have not yet been filmed, while Clarkson himself took to Twitter to insist he had not been ‘sacked’.

The continuing controversy over Jeremy Clarkson has done nothing to put off his fans, who were seen today forming long queues outside his farmshop in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire 

Clarkson has been trying to build a restaurant at the site (pictured today), but has seen his hopes thwarted by planning inspectors

‘As we said for several weeks, ITV is contractually committed to a further series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, which has now been recorded,’ Dame Carolyn McCall told a press call toady. 

‘There are no further commission commitments beyond that currently, as is typical with such shows where we make commissioning 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 cancelled. I think that is as clear as we can be.’

The broadcaster’s position as host of the quiz show was thrown 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 towns.

Dame Carolyn was asked if she was worried about the impact on the brand and said: ‘No, I think we’ve handled it quite well.

‘We’ve been very clear… Kevin (Lygo, managing director for media and entertainment at ITV) has been very overt about the comments being awful.

‘I’ve 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 over on to the brand.’

Long queues outside Clarkson’s farmshop this morning in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire 

The farm is where the presenter films his Amazon Prime series, Clarkson’s Farm 

Clarkson has taken to Twitter to insist he had not been ‘sacked’

Clarkson’s piece in The Sun became the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s (Ipso) most complained-about article.

Former Top Gear presenter Clarkson, who now has several Amazon shows including The Grand Tour, later apologised for the piece.

He said his language was ‘disgraceful’ and he was ‘profoundly sorry’.

The Sun also apologised and said it regretted the publication of the column, which was removed from its website.

Mr Lygo previously said Clarkson’s comments about Meghan were ‘awful’ but ‘at the moment’ the broadcaster planned 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 claim their privacy was breached by the broadcaster’s news channel and Sky News.

Dame Carolyn said: ‘We’ve said that we as a responsible broadcaster are co-operating fully with Ofcom. Ofcom are investigating both Sky and ITV and we will wait for their investigation to conclude.’

Heavy traffic on the roads outside Diddly Squat in Oxfordshire this morning 

ITV has committed to one more series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? with Clarkson as the host but has not commissioned any further series featuring him, leading to claims he has been ‘cancelled’. These have been denied by ITV

When asked about her response to the investigation, she added: ‘I think we won’t say anything until Ofcom have investigated thoroughly.

‘I mean, we’re a responsible broadcaster, we take it very seriously. So less said, I think at the moment.’

Ofcom said previously it was ‘extremely concerned’ by comments from Ms Bulley’s family about the press after the 45-year-old’s body was recovered from the River Wyre in Lancashire last month.

In a press conference at Lancashire Police’s headquarters, Ms Bulley’s family said in a statement: ‘We tried last night to take in what we had been told in the day, only to have Sky News and ITV (News) making contact with us directly when we expressly asked for privacy.

‘They again have taken it upon themselves to run stories about us to sell papers and increase their own profits. It is shameful they have acted in this way. Leave us alone now.’

The way the case was handled by 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 paraded through the streets naked while people threw ‘excrement’ at her 

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