Jeremy Clarkson spent a month in rehab after Top Gear sacking because he was 'about to become a drooling vegetable'

The motoring host recalls his time in a rehabilitation facility as a month spent in a prison 

Heather Saul
Monday 05 October 2015 11:27
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson was sent to a rehabilitation centre after being sacked from Top Gear because he was in danger of transforming into a “drooling vegetable”.

In a disparaging column about rehab for The Sunday Times, the former host of the popular motoring show revealed he agreed to attend a clinic after doctors expressed concern over the number of stressors impacting his life, including the recent death of his mother.


Clarkson was suspended from the show after assaulting the producer Oisin Tymon. The BBC chose not to renew his contract following an investigation into the ‘fracas’ and he has since signed a deal to present a new motoring show with Amazon Prime.

“They said very sternly that after dealing with the stresses of a dying mother and the BBC television chief Danny Cohen and a lost job and a million other things besides, I was about to become a drooling vegetable, and that I must go immediately to a prison where there would be no contact at all with the outside world,” Clarkson writes.

“I readily agreed because in my mind this 'prison' would actually be a businessman’s retreat, filled with Scandinavian furniture and half- naked Vietnamese women who’d spend all day smearing my eyes with cucumber juice and rubbing my feet with warm stones.”

This was not the setting Clarkson found himself in upon his arrival and he compared the centre he attended to a prison complete with 5am roll calls, dormitories, cell block rooms and “guards”. But the most painful part of his experience was not his bleak surroundings. Instead, Clarkson struggled with hours of “what I’ve now decided is the the absolute worst thing in the world - yoga”.

The 55-year-old eventually discovered a better way to find inner peace than exercises designed to engender tranquillity such as yoga, meditation and t’ai chi.

“There’s a cure for this that isn’t uncomfortable at all," he concludes. "It’s how I spent my last week in prison: sitting in the sunshine, chatting with friends and smoking."

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