Bill Bailey says Jeremy Clarkson deserved his “kicking” over Meghan Markle article

The presenter and journalist sparked outrage due to a column in The Sun

Bill Bailey believes that Jeremy Clarkson deserved the public backlash he received over his latest Meghan Markle article.

The comedian and musician thinks Clarkson “got the kicking he deserved” after he wrote that crowds should assault the Duchess of Sussex in the street. In a column for The Sun, published in December, Clarkson said he “dreamed of the day” Markle would be forced to “parade naked” through the streets of Britain as crowds “throw lumps of excrement at her”.

The article attracted widespread condemnation, and both Clarkson and the paper have since apologised for the journalist’s comments. Speaking about the huge public backlash, which originated on Twitter, Bailey told The Daily Telegraph that Clarkson should have been “more savvy” and that he “deserved” the backlash.


Spotify row
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. CREDIT: Getty Images

“That was classic Twitter,” Bailey said. “You might [make a comment like Clarkson’s] in the pub as a clumsy, oafish sort of laugh. But you put it in print and not only does it take on another life but it gives gravitas to something that should never have had it.

“You think ‘Come on, you’ve got to be more savvy than that, surely you can see how that’s going to pan out’. It was misguided and ill-conceived and he got the kicking he deserved.”

In the piece, which was removed from The Sun’s website on December 21, at the request of Clarkson, the former Top Gear host wrote that he “dreamed of the day” Markle would be forced to “parade naked” through the streets of Britain as crowds “throw lumps of excrement at her”.

Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

The comment piece became the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s (Ipso) most complained about article. The column, where Clarkson described hating Markle “on a cellular level”, had received over 17,500 complaints the morning before the article was take down. The number of complaints exceeded the total amount Ipso received in 2021, which was 14,355.


In a statement to PA Media news agency (via the Guardian), an Ipso spokesperson said: “We will follow our usual processes to examine the complaints we have received. This will take longer than usual because of the volume of complaints.”

After the article was widely criticised, Clarkson released a statement saying he was “horrified” by the response. Both The Grand Tour star and The Sun issued apologies over the article.

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