Jeremy Clarkson racism: Top Gear presenter’s week of hell continues with rumours Frances, his wife of 21 years, is divorcing him

Frances Clarkson declined to comment on reports, as a source close to the presenter cited the difference between 'divorce and getting a divorce'

Whether deservedly so or not, the last seven days of Jeremy Clarkson’s life have been, by all accounts, a bit of a shocker.

Firstly, the Top Gear presenter was accused of being a racist when un-broadcast footage of him appearing to mumble the word ‘n****r’ while reciting a derogatory rhyme was leaked to the press.

Clarkson's First Wife Alex Hall Responds To Divorce Reports

It resulted in some stern words from BBC bosses and a final warning, and some words of support from co-presenter James May, the Secretary of State for Eduction Michael Gove and the man no-one could possibly want sticking up for them, UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

He also released a grovelling video apology, in which he declared he’d taken steps to ensure he hadn’t said the offensive word, but admitted that his efforts “obviously were not good enough”.

None of this, of course, was helped by the fact he’d recently come under fire for naming his black pet dog ‘Didier Dogba’ (yes, after the black footballer), and made a derogatory reference to Asian people during a recent episode of Top Gear (read about that here).

 

But it gets worse. Reports this morning suggest that Clarkson’s wife of 21 years, Frances Clarkson, is set to divorce him.

The couple have been living apart for three years after their marriage was put under strain following a slew of rumours that the presenter had been unfaithful – something he has vehemently denied.

Again, his repeat denials were not helped by the fact he’d lifted a High Court injunction in 2011 that prevented his first wife, Alex Hall, whom he’d initially married in 1989 only to separate from two years later, from claiming that she’d had an affair with Clarkson after he was married to Frances in 1993.

According to Hall, the pair had rekindled their relationship from 1999 onwards.

Meet Clarkson's dog, Didier Dogba Furthermore, in 2002, a tabloid newspaper snapped Clarkson and TV presenter Elaine Bedell cuddling in a doorway and kissing in a car, while in 2011, he was pictured kissing events organiser Phillipa Sage during a world tour with his Top Gear co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May. Clarkson shrugged off the claims, saying he and Sage had simply been “colleagues fooling around”. Last year, he was photographed kissing that same colleague on holiday in Greece.

Now, sources close to Frances are claiming that she’s finally decided to throw in the marital towel, celebrating her decision with a  trip to Majorca.

“Apparently Francie had a really jolly boozy time because she is finally getting a divorce from Jeremy and she was celebrating that,” a source was quoted by Daily Mail as saying.

“All her friends have been waiting for years for her to do it and she finally has.”

A screengrab from Jeremy Clarkson's video apology A screengrab from Jeremy Clarkson's video apology A source close to Clarkson has since denied that the Top Gear presenter is divorced. However, when pressed further over whether he would be “getting divorced” in the near future, the insider apparently replied: “Getting [divorced] and divorced are different.”

Last night, Frances told reporters that she did not “want to make a comment at this time” on the reports. Asked whether she could confirm or deny the rumours, she answered bluntly: “No.”

If the couple do end up officially ending their marriage, Frances could be set to secure a substantial pay-out as, as well as being Clarkson’s wife, she also has the unenviable task of being his manager.

His fortune is estimated at £30million, and last year, he reportedly earned £14million for Top Gear, which includes his salary and payments from a company he set up with the BBC to sell the programme internationally.

A spokesperson for Clarkson has declined to comment.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering