Performer: Billy Paul
Top Gear presenter
This week Sue Lawley's castaway is the motoring journalist and motor-mouth Jeremy Clarkson. He came from a comfortable background - his mother was a teacher and his father a travelling salesman. But his parents had greater ambitions for their son and wanted to send him to public school. Their determination led his mother to set up a business making Paddington Bear toys, and the proceeds funded Jeremy's place at Repton School. However, he was a far from ideal pupil and says he was 'asked to leave' apparently for inappropriate behaviour including drinking, smoking and seducing girls. He left school with no A-levels and started work as a trainee reporter on the Rotherham Advertiser. But the local news diet was not enough of a challenge and, in the middle of an assignment to a vegetable and produce show, he left the paper to seek his fortune in London, as a freelance motoring writer.
He ended up presenting Top Gear for the BBC and stayed on the programme for nine years, kick-starting it into a brash, opinionated motor show with a large and loyal fan base. He has indulged his love of speed and risk-taking through programmes including Extreme Machines and Speed. He's hosted a chat-show, Clarkson, and, more recently, his razor-sharp tongue has turned on our fellow Europeans with Meet the Neighbours. But, although his public image is as a brash, opinionated and sexist boor, he claims that he's been misrepresented - he says he's always been a bit of a mother's boy: his mother describes him as a family man who has a softer side that the public never sees. Married to his agent-cum-manager Francie, the couple have three children and two homes.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
Search the whole archive by typing into the box below. To find out who has picked particular music, books or luxuries on the programme use the buttons to refine your search.
This site contains archive material. To comment or bring something to our attention, please get in touch.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.