Jeremy Clarkson on Have I Got News For You: The best jibes and jokes

The former Top Gear presenter was the target of some sharp jibes by Richard Osman, who became a favourite on Twitter

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The Independent Culture

Jeremy Clarkson was never going to have an easy ride on Have I Got News For You but the panel seemed to take particular delight in ripping the former Top Gear presenter to shreds last night.

It was the first time he had appeared on the comedy show since the “fracas” with producer Oisin Tymon that caused his departure from the BBC earlier this year.

Clarkson was forced to pull out of the last series as the furore continued, and it was still the butt of many a joke as he hosted the opening episode of HIGNFY’s 50th series.

Richard Osman and Paul Merton (right) as Jeremy Clarkson hosted Have I Got News For You

But under a stream of jibes by Ian Hislop, Paul Merton, Richard Osman and journalist Camilla Long, he managed to roll with the punches.

Asked if he had any regrets about the now infamous row over a steak dinner, he replied: “Yeah – apart from the pay rise.”

Clarkson will be starring in a new motoring programme on Amazon Prime with his former Top Gear co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond.

Minutes into HIGNFY, Osman jibed: “Are you sure it's Amazon Prime and not Amazon past-their-prime?”

Clarkson did not reply to the barb, which was one of many from Osman, who quickly became a favourite among viewers from Twitter.



In a segment about the beleaguered car maker Volkswagen, he made a sly reference to Clarkson's Top Gear successor, saying: “I think it's one of those questions you need an expert on cars to deal with ... Jeremy, have you got Chris Evans' phone number?”

Clarkson replied: “I am not allowed on the BBC to use the C-word. Cars.”

But after a lengthy discussion on motoring, he said: “What are they going to do, f****** sack me? I've just thought of that - they can't, can they? It's quite good fun.”

And when Osman aimed another barb at Clarkson, Long jumped in urging: “Go on Jeremy, punch him!” 

“You remember how to punch, right?” Osman replied, starting Merton mimicking a fight scene that had the audience in stitches.

Ian Hislop and Camilla Long on Have I Got News For You

Here are some of the best quotes and exchanges from the show.

  • Hislop on Corbyn and Clarkson: “Old blokes called Jeremy with extreme views…”
  • Clarkson: "What is ITV2?" Osman: "You'll find out soon enough, Jeremy."
  • Osman on pig gate: “You can’t say ‘cock’ can you…I was going to say he put his Clarkson in a pig’s mouth.”
  • Hislop: “I wasn’t a member of the Piers Gaveston Society, but I was a member of the Piers Morgan society.” Merton: “I dread to think what the initiation ceremony for that was.”
  • Clarkson on Corbyn: “Actually at this early stage, I’ve got nothing against the bearded sandal-wearing, tea-total, non-smoking, houmous loving, Hamas loving, anthem-dodging pinko lefty.”
  • Osman to Clarkson on the Dull Men’s Club: “That's annoying, 'cos you'll have to think of a new name for your show.”
  • Clarkson: “The next question is on Rebekah Brooks, and I’m not going to do that.” Hislop: “I know the answer – innocent.” 
  • Long on Barack Obama and the Pope standing for the American national anthem: “How dare he not sing.”
  • Clarkson: “I’ll give you points if you can tell me his name.” Merton: “RONNIE PICKERING.”

The new series of Have I Got News For You is on Fridays at 9pm on BBC 1.