He writes weekly columns for The Sunday Times and The Sun, but is better known for his role on the BBC TV show Top Gear.
“Not a man given to considered opinion,” according to the BBC, Clarkson is known to be opinionated and forthright in his views. The Economist, on the subject of road pricing in UK, has described him as a “skillful propagandist for the motoring lobby”.
Born in Doncaster, Clarkson was educated at Repton School, although he claims to have been expelled. His first job was as a travelling salesman for his parents’ business selling Paddington Bear toys, after which he trained as a journalist with the Rotherham Advertiser.
In 2004 during an episode of the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?, Clarkson was invited to investigate his family history; including the story of his great-great-great grandfather John Kilner (1792-1857), who invented the Kilner jar; a receptacle for preserved fruit.
In spite of his penchant for fast driving and high performance cars, Clarkson has been reported as having a clean licence. Nonetheless, he is not reluctant to discuss driving fast: In a November 2005 article in The Sunday Times, Clarkson wrote, while discussing the Bugatti Veyron, “On a recent drive across Europe I desperately wanted to reach the top speed but I ran out of road when the needle hit 240mph”, and later, in the same article,”From the wheel of a Veyron, France is the size of a small coconut. I cannot tell you how fast I crossed it the other day. Because you simply wouldn’t believeme “