AS JEREMY Clarkson attempts to play down rumours surrounding his private life – insisting in a text message to his mum that he’s not the “new Tiger Woods” – a column he published in the Sunday Times on March 7 2010 may leave him with some explaining to do to his wife of 18 years.
The column – which is no longer available online, but was salvaged from the archives by the Daily Mail and the Mirror – details a drunken ride in the back of a Maserati with Top Gear’s “green room director, Phillipa”.
The headline – which may cause a few awkward silences on his family holiday in Barbados – reads “Lie back, leggy Phillipa, while I have some fun”.
The article recounts how, on the Top Gear Live tour in New Zealand, the thrilled presenter and his companion “who is so tall, she’s actually measured in hands”, were chauffered around town in an £80,000 Maserati Quattroporte by a driver called Nigel.
Eating his words
But the ‘leggy Phillipa’ column may not be the only one Clarkson’s regretting having published.
Writing about allegations that Formula 1 chief Max Mosley had cheated on his wife with prostitutes, he said:
Here is a man whose strength of character is such that he thinks, ‘No. I won’t do any work this afternoon. I’ll go to a flat in Chelsea where five prostitutes will check my hair for lice’. Is it important that we know this? You’re damn right it’s important. This guy was effectively elected to his position at the FIA, the governing body of Formula 1, by 125 million people.
He went on to add:
It is also important we know that David Mellor was dressing up in a Chelsea kit while shagging some floozy and that John Major was -bathing with Edwina Currie. Because if a prime minister can’t keep his pecker in his trousers, then how do we know he can’t keep his fingers off the button that fires the -Tridents?
But then, in a hint of the double standards that were to come, he wrote:
As a journalist, I would say it is interesting for the public to know whether Madonna has had an affair but as a celebrity on her side of the fence, I would argue vehemently that it is not in the public interest.
He’s also written about how he worried that celebrities were becoming too boring:
There’s a constant bombardment for me to sit up straight, eat my greens, comb my hair. It drives me mad.
I fear for our future. I worry that bad behaviour is being erased from society, and that unless the trend can be reversed somehow we’ll all have to go through life on the Planet Stepford, a rictus grin masking the boiling turmoil of desperation inside.
Well, at least that’s one prospect he no longer has to fear.