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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot