Jeremy Clarkson apologised profusely to Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle after telling the world in his column that he despised her so much, he had pictured her “being pelted with excrement” while she “paraded naked through the streets”. James May has now condemned the controversial comments by his former Top Gear colleague and branded them “creepy”.
James was a guest on the Radio 4’s Today show, where he’d been invited to discuss his opinions on the prospect of 20mph speed limits being introduced.
The supercar-loving star’s attention turned to Jeremy after excerpts of the incendiary article were read out to him on air.
Jeremy, 62, had insisted he believed everyone his age felt the same way about Meghan – but James begged to differ.
“I’d like to go on record and say I don’t, and I’m only a few years younger than him,” the 60-year-old commented.
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Although banter between the Top Gear trio – James, Jeremy and their co-star Richard Hammond – has often been a little controversial in the past, James condemned the Meghan comments as a step too far.
“I wouldn’t have written that. I think it sounds a little bit too creepy,” he clarified.
However, he added that, although he disapproved of such content, he didn’t believe in censorship of it.
“I’m very much in favour of free speech and allowing the ‘haters to hate’ so we can see what they have to say,” he explained.
Yet not everyone agreed, as the column – which has since been deleted – sparked more than 20,000 formal complaints with IPSO.
Even Jeremy’s own daughter – 28-year-old Emily – spoke out against him, saying that she is against “misogyny and bullying” targeting women in the media.
Meanwhile, James has previously admitted that, while they might seem to connect on TV, they are poles apart in real life.
He told the Times that they would have been in different social groups had they met at school, with James more likely to be in a “nerdy gang”, while Jeremy’s tribe would have been “something nauseating like the Young Farmers or Young Conservatives”.
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James continued that he didn’t tend to socialise with his co-star outside of their work commitments together.
The comments that had caused so much anger involved Jeremy suggesting he despised Meghan more than serial killer Rose West.
In his Sun column, Jeremy exclaimed: “I hate her. Not like I hate Nicola Sturgeon or Rose West. I hate her on a cellular level.
“At night, I’m unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.”
It has been reported Amazon Prime Video could part ways with the Clarkson’s Farm star after his existing contractual obligations come to an end.
Jeremy issued an apology, but then argued that “no matter how heartfelt or profound [an] apology may be, it’s never enough for the people who called for it in the first place”.
“I really am sorry. All the way from the balls of my feet to the follicles on my head,” he wrote on Instagram.
“This is me putting my hands up. Its a mea culpa with bells on.”
Jeremy is set to appear on the next series of ITV’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?