Jeremy Clarkson shock: Unusual items Grand Tour star’s family sold revealed
Jeremy Clarkson rose to fame on the hit BBC show ‘Top Gear’ after years working as a journalist, with a specialism and love for motor vehicles. In 2016, he jumped to Amazon to launch ‘The Grand Tour’, with colleagues Richard Hammond and James May, following an altercation with a producer. The cheeky presenter, known for his tongue-in-cheek humour, remains a much beloved TV talent to this day and now fronts the show ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’. But far from his fame today, unearthed accounts reveal his family’s struggle to afford private education – in the hope of giving him better career prospects. They ran their own business, where Jeremy’s father worked door-to-door flogging unusual items to prospective customers.
Jeremy Clarkson was born in Doncaster, to working-class parents Shirley, a teacher, and Edward who ran their family business.
The couple revealed that they enrolled their son in private school without any idea of how they could afford the fees, in the 2008 memoir ‘Bearly Believable: My part in the Paddington Bear Story’.
They initially sold tea cosies and other items, before going on to produce a popular children’s character of the time.
When Jeremy was 13 years old, his mother made him a Paddington Bear toy – which they claim became so popular they decided to start selling them.
Door-to-door their stuffed toy proved a hit but it wasn’t long before trouble would strike the Clarksons.
It was revealed that while they were manufacturing and selling the Paddington Bear toys, they did not have permission from the popular book series’ creator Michael Bond.
He instructed his solicitor to pursue legal action against the couple for breaching his intellectual property rights, but when Jeremy’s father Edward went to meet the creator, something unlikely happened.
By sheer luck and coincidence, Mr Bond and Edward met in a lift as they travelled to the meeting and struck up an “immediate rapport”.
This unexpected friendship would lead to the Paddington Bear creator’s decision to license the rights of his popular character to the Clarksons.
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The gesture would transpire to be a wise move from Mr Bond too, as the bear would go on to be sold across the nation.
It was eventually snapped up by the then-leading toy Hamleys.
Jeremy would also go into the family business before training as a journalist – where he would rise through the ranks to become one of the nation’s top motoring writers.
In a 2015 column for Top Gear magazine, shortly before he was axed by BBC directors, he recalled his beginnings at the local newspaper.
Jermey wrote: “I started small, on the Shropshire Star with little Peugeots and Fiats and worked my way up to Ford Granadas and Rovers….
“Until, after about seven years, I was allowed to drive an Aston Martin Lagonda, but only with a man from the company in the back seat.
“It was 10 years before I drove my first Lamborghini.”
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