Clarkson’s Missing Link – His Wife Of 21 Years
All the way through the Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear circus I wondered when someone was going to twig to the obvious missing link and ask the question: Would all this have happened if the juvenile petrol head still enjoyed the stabilising influence of his “Mumma-wife” of more than two decades Frances Clarkson?
And finally Beverley Turner got around to answering the question in the Telegraph. It’s more than clear Clarkson is one of those A type personalities – not uncommon in media host/talkback roles – who has built his career around thumbing his nose at authority.
Thumbing Nose Secret Charm
I’m damn certain it’s one of the appeals of his charm for all the multi millions who enjoy seeing someone take the micky out of the boss when they can’t. But like many men of Clarkson’s ilk, his ultimate success usually depends on some strong and silent back room woman who holds it all together. And to all accounts that woman was his second wife, Frances.
Without her influence Clarkson is like a pre-schooler having a paddy in his play pen because he’s thrown his dummy and Mummy won’t give it back.
A Man In Meltdown
The clue to the underlying problem with the Top Gear scenario was there for all the world to see a few days before Turner’s piece appeared when Clarkson’s long-term adversary Piers Morgan revealed a recent meeting he’d had in which the Top Gear presenter confessed: “I’m going through a difficult divorce, my first ex-wife has also came out of the woodwork to give me hell, I’m smoking too much, drinking too much, my back hurts, I’m all over the papers with this N-word scandal, I’m at war with my BBC bosses, and my mother has just died. I simply don’t have the energy for you anymore.”
Says Turner: “In other words, he was rapidly descending a mountain pass without the brakes of his ex-wife to stop him going over the cliff edge.”
Wife Frances the Secret Glue
Clarkson and wife Frances, his “wife, agent and confidante” of 21 years, had been living apart after the presenter’s infidelities became more and more difficult to ignore. Last year (in May) she divorced him and went on holiday to celebrate.
Even Clarkson’s first wife couldn’t resist commenting “good on her – it’s her hard work that’s made him the idol he is today.
“Jeremy is the frontman but behind the scenes she was the swan paddling frantically beneath the surface.”
She alleges the second Mrs Clarkson always turned a blind eye to Jeremy’s ‘indiscretions’ – which included her own ‘secret’ seven year affair with her ex. those ‘amores’ were also the source of his famous 14-year-feud with Piers Morgan after Morgan – then Daily Mirror editor – published paparazzi pics of the petrol head in a close embrace with TV producer Elaine Bedell. Clarkson insisted it was all innocent but was still furious.
Divorce Not Becoming Him
Clarkson’s latest love, Philippa Sage has been on the scene since at least 2010, when she was with him on Top Gear’s Down Under trip to Australia and New Zealand, but even last year Clarkson was reluctant to acknowledge Frances was divorcing him.
And as Turner notes, Clarkson hasn’t been looking so good on it lately:
“It’s striking how much Clarkson has aged in the last year. He’s not alone of course. Typically, men don’t fare well after a divorce – they are twice as likely to die early from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and strokes than married men and are four times more likely to kill themselves than the betrothed.”
Who Relied On Whom?
Suggests Turner: “Typically, the new girlfriends of uber-famous millionaires allow their fellas a longer leash. And once they’re free to float, child-like adults such as Clarkson often fall spectacularly to earth. Despite her tiny frame, Clarkson was often photographed quite literally leaning on Frances.”
“They clearly made a formidable pairing. Not only did they raise three children together, but Frances steered his career towards the £60m fortune that he now boasts. Having a wife who made tough professional decisions and conducted difficult conversations on Clarkson’s behalf when all he really wanted to do was be very funny playing with cars must have been a gift for the 54-year-old.”
Sulky Impetuousness Sunk Franchise
“Frances would have turned down all those invitations that Clarkson couldn’t face; negotiated contracts whose detail was beyond him and probably did all this whilst remembering to buy his mother a birthday card.
“She was probably one of the very few people who would tell him when he was being an arse or apologise to friends when he forgot his table manners.
“Had they still been married on that fateful night weeks ago, she would probably have organised his meal plans as part of her tightly run ship.
“Or she would have told him down the phone when he rang to moan at her about the lack of steak – to stop being a spoilt brat and go to bed. And he would have listened. Without her to vent his sulky impetuousness upon, he looked around for the nearest minion and ended the BBC’s most successful factual entertainment global brand.”