Jeremy Clarkson has appeared to make the biggest u-turn of his career by admitting that global warming is having an effect on the world.
The petrol-head TV presenter spoke to the Sunday Times about a recent programme he’d filmed with his Grand Tour co-stars James May and Richard Hammond in Asia, where they attempted a 500-mile boat race from Siem Reap in Cambodia to Vung Tau in Vietnam.
One leg of the journey ran aground in the Mekong river, where the TV stars were forced to abandon their jet boats and wade through usually-deep water that had dried up with water shortages, which Clarkson said was a frustrating couple of days.
Clarkson, who has previously shrugged off environmental concerns, publicly accepted global warming’s effects for the first time as he told the newspaper: “The irony is not lost on me. A man who hosted a car programme for 30 years, limited to 7mph by global warming.”
Last week, in Laos, I watched maybe 200 Chinese tourists throw all the plastic packaging from their picnic lunches in a river.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) March 15, 2019
He also admitted that the effects he had seen first hand were “genuinely alarming”, but still stopped short of fully accepting the influence of human behaviour on the environment.
Clarkson said: “But we don’t blame mankind for it. We’ll let Greta [Thunberg] do that.”
The former Top Gear presenter has voiced scathing criticism of the 16-year-old climate change campaigner, in the past having labelled her a “spoilt brat”.
Still on the subject of Thunberg, he said: “‘Ooh, we’re all going to die.’ Right, tremendous. Now go back to school.
“But I genuinely hope people are working on what on earth to do about (global warming).”
Earlier this month, Clarkson tweeted photos from a Grand Tour expedition that had gone spectacularly wrong when he, May and Hammond ended up on the wrong island for filming, 500 miles away from the rest of the crew.
Only May, Hammond and I could do this: end up 500 miles away from the entire crew, on the wrong island.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) November 7, 2019
We elected to fly on the cargo plane with the kit and it broke. Now we’re marooned on a tropical island with nothing but a car and wine— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) November 7, 2019
The fourth season of The Grand Tour will stream on Amazon Prime from Friday, December 13.