Plenty of individuals need to see Jeremy Clarkson in ache. Not extreme struggling or something life-threatening, after all — not stripped bare and pelted with poo, as he just lately imagined occurring to Meghan Markle in his now notorious Solar column. Extra like a stubbed toe or a paper reduce.
Properly, when you’ve got a Prime Video account and also you wouldn’t thoughts seeing the outspoken presenter wrestle, you’re in luck. By the top of the primary batch of episodes of Clarkson’s Farm sequence two, he’s trapped his finger in a fence, knackered his knee with a pole and scalded his mouth by consuming a really, extremely popular chili pepper. Cautious, although. After an hour or so on Diddly Squat Farm, you may end up beginning to just like the bloke.
You are reading: Clarkson’s Farm is good enough to save Jeremy Clarkson’s reputation — don’t let it
When the sequence first got here to Prime Video in 2021, critics — myself included — have been astonished at how good it was. A Jeremy Clarkson-fronted present that’s humorous, bucolic and academic? We by no means thought we’d see the day. It’s greater than only a jolly within the Cotswolds too, in immersing himself of their world, Clarkson additionally reveals the true results of the pandemic — and this time round, Brexit — on the farming neighborhood.
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Its return couldn’t have come at a greater time for the hopeful farmer. It’s been simply two months since he wrote his hateful column about his hatred of the Duchess, fuelled by misogynoir and the tabloid press’s preoccupation with Markle. It’s nonetheless the very first thing that involves thoughts upon listening to his identify and his profuse social media apologies (and unusual Christmas Day electronic mail to the Sussexes) haven’t performed a lot to clear his identify.
However within the docuseries, we see a really totally different aspect to the person. Revelling in his personal incompetence, he’s more than pleased to be the butt of the joke. He doesn’t perceive why you possibly can’t simply kill badgers which will give his new cows TB. He doesn’t get why he has to attend for his wheat to keep up a sure moisture degree earlier than he can harvest it. Why can’t he simply construct an on-site restaurant with out having to get the locals and the council concerned?
Apart from just a few digs at his parochial however loveable farmhand (and true star of the present) Kaleb Cooper and the working joke about his neighbouring farmer’s actually indecipherable Cotwolds accent (which could be merciless if it weren’t so humorous), Clarkson is the dolt round right here. He continuously wants assist from the nation people he would in any other case chastise as overly provincial. In Chipping Norton, he’s behind his chickens within the pecking order. It’s a refreshing perspective on a person who has constructed a profession on claiming the upper ethical floor on all the things from putting staff to steak dinners.
Because of his toxic column, Clarkson’s profession imploded, together with his TV work thrown into query. Whereas ITV has mentioned he’ll proceed to host Who Needs to Be a Millionaire, stories counsel that Prime Video – which additionally makes The Grand Tour, which Clarkson hosts alongside his ex-High Gear colleagues Richard Hammond and James Could – gained’t be renewing his contract. Meaning there’ll just one extra sequence of Clarkson’s Farm.
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I’m positive he’s gutted, and never simply because he earns a rumoured £10m a 12 months from them. Clarkson’s Farm is the one method Clarkson can claw again some form of repute and respect from viewers like me who discover him in any other case repulsive. It’s exhausting to look at him chase a herd of cows throughout the fields of Chipping Norton and peg him as something apart from a innocent, inconsiderate man who has more cash than he is aware of what to do with.
However falling for the allure of Clarkson’s Farm is a harmful entice. The extra we see him as an underdog, even within the farming world, the extra probably we’re to excuse his most contemptible behaviour. Clarkson ought to face actual world penalties for his assault on the Duchess, greater than the overwrought handwringing of so-called “cancel tradition”. The present separates farmer Clarkson from columnist Clarkson and is entertaining sufficient to provide him the reputational restoration he wants. The true downside is that Clarkson’s Farm makes it far too simple to forgive his vile remarks – and their affect.
Placing a cease to his redemptive everyman shtick is definitely a step ahead, however I doubt Diddly Squat will keep off our screens eternally. That is TV land, the place cash talks and Clarkson’s inherent controversy attracts viewers determined to listen to what nonsense he’ll provide you with subsequent. Give it a few years and Clarkson’s Farm will pop up on one other channel. Maybe GB Information will enterprise into the truth enterprise.
Clarkson’s Farm is streaming on Prime Video from Friday 10 February