Much of the criticism came after Clarkson decided to swap spouses, and was seen clambering into an ex-wife, whom he declared an ‘absolute classic’. He then attempted to cross the finishing line ahead of Richard ‘hamster’ Hammond who did the whole thing in the same sporty blond.
Clarkson defended his decision to swap, claiming that he had ridden his current wife all the way down from Gloucester and she had overheated on the M42 outside Redditch. ‘I was hanging on for dear life, praying to God I didn’t have a blowout,’ explained Clarkson. ‘I didn’t want her leaking all the way back, so I thought, hey why not get out the old crate and give her a spin.
‘There was nothing in the rules saying I couldn’t swap the missus, despite James May’s usual protests. But then you should have seen the clapped out old thing he showed up in. It’s a wonder he finished at all,’ he added
In the end Hammond came first by a fraction of a second.
Clarkson however remained bullish, saying: ‘He was in a newer model, but was going far too fast with more understeer… than a pig… with no front legs. It was obvious he’d completely lose his way and end up in the wrong bush, which is actually minus ten points, and straight to the bottom of the cool wall. ‘
‘So he was lucky. And I probably lost about 2 or 3 seconds anyway due to foreplay, which as any of my wives will tell you is longer than I normally take in the wet.’
Malcolm Rennie, BBC Head of Defending Clarkson, said: ‘Top Gear is the most popular show on BBC2, it is shown in 86 territories and generates annual merchandising sales in excess of £4.8 million. So Jeremy could cook and eat a pensioner live on air and we wouldn’t give a donkey’s fuck. But thanks for asking.’
On next week’s show a more rigorous comparison of the wives will be carried out by the Stig.