Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘fracas’ was a violent temper tantrum about steak


Now I just hate Jeremy Clarkson ^^ because he reads The Sun. These are some pics of Clarkson out and about in London this week, following his suspension from Top Gear after some kind of mysterious “fracas.” Of course, the fracas followed years of inappropriate behavior and racialized (if not outright racist) comments. Clarkson isn’t trying to get pap’d, by the way. The paparazzi have camped outside his house. In any case, we’re finally hearing more about the mysterious “fracas” that was Clarkson’s undoing. As it turns out, the whole thing was about… steak? The man threw a massive hissy fit about meat, people.

The “fracas” that led to Jeremy Clarkson’s BBC suspension erupted because the Top Gear host could not order a steak, UK media reports. UK’s The Mirror quotes an onlooker who said Clarkson had been drinking rosé wine when he launched into an expletive-filled tirade using “every bad word you could think of” and ranted “so there’s no food” when he was told he would not get the steak he wanted.

The witness said: “We were surprised at his reaction because we were all thinking ‘surely soup is food’.” The chef was said to have gone home, but the meat platters were available for Clarkson and his co-presenters James May, 52, and Richard Hammond, 45.

Clarkson had arrived to the Yorkshire Dales hotel Simonstone Hall last week by helicopter. Clarkson arrived late – past 10 pm – and the chef had already gone home for the night. The staff member, who asked not to be named, said: “He wanted a full sit-down meal but that was not possible because the restaurant was shut. It was suggested he could have a cheese platter, a meat platter, soup, or another bar snack, but he was not having it. I didn’t see any pushing or shoving but he was swearing and the manager was trying to calm the situation and come to some agreement. Clarkson was directing his anger to the BBC staff, not the hotel staff. I did not see any physical contact.”

Other sources claim Clarkson did throw a punch at one of the Top Gear producers, Oisin Tymon, who has been with the show since 2008. Clarkson blamed Mr. Tymon for failing to arrange hot food. A spokesman for the hotel confirmed Clarkson was there for three days, adding: “There’s been some pretty accurate reporting of what happened.” Another hotel source said: “I would describe his behaviour as a child’s tantrum rather than anything violent.”

[From IB Times & The Australian]

All of this over… steak. Over food. Which was plentiful enough, but Clarkson couldn’t get exactly what he wanted exactly when he wanted it and so he acted like a violent, pissy baby. All of the British gossips are saying that the BBC is going to investigate what happened and Clarkson will have to go before a disciplinary panel. Other sources say Clarkson has decided he’s done no matter what, that he wants to leave the BBC and even if they wanted him back, he wouldn’t come back. Alright? So long, Jeremy Clarkson.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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76 Responses to “Jeremy Clarkson’s ‘fracas’ was a violent temper tantrum about steak”

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  1. Kiddo says:

    I have no idea who he is, but I am enormously pleased with the word ‘fracas’.

    • Sarah says:

      I couldn’t agree more. You don’t hear (or see, in our case) the word fracas enough!

    • Lilacflowers says:

      It is a wonderful word. Friday is fracas day!

    • Senaber says:

      That is a great word! My husband heard a British person say “cupboard” yesterday and now he’s obsessed… Asked if we had any more coffee in the cupboard. 😒

      • SuePerb says:

        What do Americans call a cupboard?

      • Kiddo says:

        Cabinet or pantry.

        fracas fracas fracas.

      • The Other Katherine says:

        @SuePerb: a cabinet, in the case of a small cupboard in the kitchen/bathroom/etc., or a closet in the case of something with a full-size door on it (hence the phrase, “walk-in closet”, if the closet is deep enough to walk into).

        As an American married to a Scot, I was flummoxed for years when he and his parents would refer to a closet as a “cupboard”, as I kept thinking they were talking about a cabinet!

        ETA: or, like Kiddo says, a pantry, in the case of a closet located in the kitchen for food storage.

      • alice says:

        I say cupboard. Can I be faux British?

      • Kiddo says:

        @alice, you would be creating a faux fracas.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        I say “cupboard” and “cabinet” equally – my dad was English. But a closet is always a closet and a pantry is a room, which often has cupboards.

        Now, if you’ll excuse me, two weeks ago at this time, I saw Bradley Cooper outside my office. I’m going to go look for him again to see if I can start a fracas over whether beige booty shorts should be stored in a closet or cupboard

      • Sixer says:

        ARGY BARGY

        I like American boards because there are so many possible FANNY puns.

      • Cora says:

        We say cupboard in Canada, too!

      • Kiddo says:

        Lilacflowers, pantry, obvs!

      • Emelu says:

        After living in Henley for three years, some habits are hard to break. I still say chemist, or may I use your loo. The best is Wellies, as no one here in Chicago has a clue what I’m saying half the time. Can create quite the fracas!

    • MtnRunner says:

      He needs a smacus for his fracus.

      I say “cupboard” and “cabinet” interchangably and am American as apple pie, Red Sox baseball and Journey. I only use the term “pantry” for larger, closeted shelves used for storing canned / dry food, spices etc.

      Perhaps the term used depends on what part of the country you’re from, like saying “soda” in the east, “pop” in the west and “coke” in the south when referring to sugary, carbonated drinks. I’ve lived in all three regions and couldn’t tell you which one I used growing up in Alaska.

  2. L says:

    What’s interesting to me are the reports that Clarkson self-reported the incident. Not the producer. Did they try to work it out and then Clarkson realized what he really wants is off the show? I mean, he gets fired and ITV/Sky would snatch him up in a heart beat.

    I mean, I get upset when my blood sugar gets low and I want real food-and I could maybe see the yelling. But punching someone? NO.

    • xpreson says:

      Yes I hear you.. people can become very irritated when HOT food would not be available. A cheese platter and a meat platter would not do for someone who has been, say , working all day with little to eat but a sandwich and then expect a proper meal. But to punch someone is unacceptable no matter what.

      • Green Girl says:

        I can see being irritated, too, at the lack of a full meal, but there really is no excuse for yelling. Can you imagine if the staff had tried to make a steak, too, just to placate him? If it wasn’t any good, he’d probably complain about that (even though the cook had already gone home for the night).

      • xpreson says:

        Green Girl, Yes I cringe at that too but lack of food does bring the worst in some people… at least he yelled at his staff and not the hotel staff who were not to blame in the slightest. I have worked as a production assistant before and sometimes made sure that a restaurant or room service in a hotel had food available for an artist at odd times at night. It is a strange world this people live in. I’m not saying is right… but this doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. It is quite common.

    • SuePerb says:

      My husband thinks he set this up, that it is about money and how much he can get offered to either stay or get sacked and switch to another station for mega bucks. His contract is about to expire at the end of this month too and he is newly divorced (or still going through it, I am not sure)

      • The Other Katherine says:

        This sounds very plausible.

      • Sixer says:

        Mr Sixer and Mr Perb have had exactly the same thought! Mr Sixer despises Clarkson, though.

        BTW: He doesn’t just read The Sun, Kaiser. He makes a shedload of money writing columns in it.

      • Xazi says:

        Evidently May and Hammond were days away from signing new three year contracts w/ BBC. That’s now on hold b/c of Clarkson’s suspension. I wonder if he did this (with or without their knowledge) to ensure they’re free to jump ship with him to Sky, or another broadcaster.
        Also Clarkson yelled at the producer for 30 minutes in full view of the pub’s patrons. Have some pride, man!

      • Bridget says:

        If his contract is already expiring why would he need to set this up?

      • L says:

        Yea, my husband thinks this. Clarkson had shares in Top Gear that he sold back to the BBC about a year ago. And he’s been on a tear since then. Maybe using the scandal and all of the cries to keep him (including from the prime minister for crying out loud) to either negotiate a new contract for himself andMay/Hammond or leverage to negotiate a higher contract with ITV /SKY.

        I don’t think he’s that clever to have planned it. I think he was upset about the food. And then sat on it for a week until a manager or someone pointed out how to use it to his advantage for leverage.

        Either way, Clarkson clearly wants to leave the BBC.

  3. Pinky says:

    The racism on that show is off the scale. In one studio segment they were interacting with the audience asking them what cars they drive and they get to the one black guy there and Jeremy basically says that the guy can drive anything he wants since he is probably a car thief. The audience laughed. There was no uproar after the show.

    Also why do they get such a pass on the sexism on that show. Nobody EvER brings it up. They routinely demean or objectify the women in the audience. Then they have insulting segments like the one where Hammond hangs out with some vacuous girls getting ready to go to a party while Jeremy drives from one point to another. The point being that women are shallow immature things who take so long to get dressed you could drive from Town A to Town B and be there before they finally decide on what shoes go with which purse.

  4. Bridget says:

    You mean to tell me that Jeremy Clarkson, a guy who is famous for being a jerk, was a jerk to someone? NO WAY.

  5. Mon says:

    I really like top gear but he has grown way too big for hid shoes…. It’s not the first time his behaviour is simply unacceptable yet he gets away with stuff as the program brings loads of money to bbc. He seems to be forgetting that no one is irreplaceable and I hope he will finally be reminded of that.

  6. OriginalTessa says:

    My dad lost it once on an airplane when they didn’t have any sandwiches left. They ran out before they got to our row and we had to fly another four hours on empty stomachs, with unlimited peanuts as a consolation. He didn’t punch anyone, but the desire to was there. Food can do that to a man.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      Or woman. I’m forever buying a sandwich in the airport terminal before my flight in case they run out of food on the plane. A hungry Katherine is a vicious Katherine.

      • OriginalTessa says:

        We ALWAYS eat before we get on, but this one time we had a tight connection, and trusted the promise of a nice deli sandwich on the plane. Dun dun dun… A congealed piece of cheese on soggy bread never looked so good.

      • megs283 says:

        This is embarrassing, but I get so irrational when I’m hungry. I hold it together for the public, but I nearly have a meltdown if I’m disappointed. Last week I was looking forward to a fried fish sandwich all day…when we got to the restaurant, they had run out and only had tuna fish sandwiches!! My poor husband had to look at my pouty face the whole meal.

        (Yes, I know this isn’t a real problem…and it’s embarrassing to be an adult and admit this…!)

    • LNG says:

      I believe the fancy scientific term would be “hangry” 🙂 . I get so hangry that when I get home from work my husband generally immediately gives me something to eat before talking to me. For Christmas he got me a shirt that says: “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry”… and its true, I usually am sorry for what I have said when I am hungry, haha.

      • The Other Katherine says:

        I get hangry about half an hour before I realize that I’m actually hungry. No bueno.

  7. Bea says:

    Interesting. He sounds like a real dick but why does it effect his job? Was it because he was yelling at the BBC guys instead of the hotel crew? So was it going to be fine if he was directing his anger at someone other than BBC employees? I don’t understand it, my question is, is BBC judging him because of his behaviour outside work? Is it even legal?

    • Bridget says:

      He threw a punch at a co-worker. That’s pretty universally frowned upon.

      • Zapp Brannigan says:

        It is normally instant dismissal for punching a co-worker, so don’t know why the BBC have put a suspension in place. In my hubbys work one guy took a swing at a coworker, he was sacked before the other guy hit the ground.

      • LNG says:

        The BBC has put a suspension is place because Clarkson makes a ridiculous amount of money for the network. He’s an d*ck, but they really can’t afford to lose him.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      It wasn’t really outside work. It was a work-related situation, work travel, and the accommodations were provided by the show AND a show producer was his target.

  8. Dieter says:

    as someone with dietary restrictions who often doesn’t get to eat at events even when I pre-inform about my needs and the cost of the meal is paid for, it is good to know that people admit that not having anything to eat, is upsetting….especially when I have to be sociable and watch and chat with others who are eating….

  9. MtnRunner says:

    Honest question UK people… Why is this guy so popular? Does he really have so much appearl that he could act like an entitled dick, get sacked and still expect to get a better gig?

    • Sixer says:

      He’s got several demographics down pat, I think. Each is relatively small, but if you add them together, there’s a big voice. He’s got the Angry White Man. He’s got the anti-EU brigade. He’s got the petrol heads. He’s got the rural ones who blame the metropolitan elite/chattering classes for everything.

      He’s like the entertainment industry’s Nigel Farage, who is the leader of political party UKIP – and you could kinda equate them with the Tea Party wing of your GOP. UKIP are currently running at about 15% in the voting intention polls, so you can see that a nation of 70m can muster up quite a few fans for him.

    • MtnRunner says:

      So is he the working class version of Duck Dynasty or Sarah Palin?

    • Sixer says:

      Um… a bit. Not stupid like Sarah Palin or religious like Duck Dynasty. But a bit, yes, politically speaking.

      However, in no way is he working class. He went to public school and is a member of the Chipping Norton Set (ie the Murdochs, the Prime Minister, various captains of industry). Quite how he gets seen as a man of the people or anti-Establishment quite defeats me. He IS the Establishment.

    • MtnRunner says:

      Interesting. Still trying to get a grasp of the class system over there. Unless they represent the stereotype, it’s difficult for me. I’ve only seen a couple of Top Gear clips, but i would not have pegged him a public school boy. He didn’t have the impeccable manners of a Redmayne, PuddleTom or Damian Lewis. Such are the workings of my simplistic mind.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      Honestly, he *is* very funny. He also genuinely does know a great deal about cars and has a great appreciation for them, and he has an extreme competitive streak that works well in the humor dynamic among the 3 presenters. He’s quite, quite mad, and obviously enjoys exaggerating for effect (sometimes satirical). He reminds me of an equally mad and equally non-PC friend of mine — who, as it happens, is not white, but is just as prone as Clarkson to coming out with bizarre racist / culturally insensitive comments intended in a jokey way and then being surprised to realise he genuinely upset someone. I don’t think Clarkson intends most of what he says in his public persona to be taken seriously, but I know he also SERIOUSLY aggravates the hell out of a lot of people. It’s a schtick, really.

      • Bridget says:

        I agree with Katherine. He (and the show) can be very funny, and while Clarkson can be completely obnoxious he’s quick witted and extremely knowledgeable about cars. His boorishness is part of the show’s schtick. Top Gear is one of the most watched shows on the planet.

        Though it’s not a stretch to think that he’s unpleasant in real life. Could you imagine being friends with someone who has to be the loudest person in the room? Yeesh. It must be exhausting to be friends with him.

      • The Other Katherine says:

        My friend who reminds me of Clarkson is, deep down, under all his nonsense, a kind, loyal, extremely intelligent, and very generous person. AND hilarious when he’s on point. But, yes, the competitiveness and the loud-mouthery can be exhausting, and I think his wife gets VERY annoyed with his antics.

      • MtnRunner says:

        His humor and loudness is what threw me for a loop.

      • LNG says:

        I would totally believe that he is supremely unpleasant in real life. The show, on the other hand, has made me laugh so hard i’ve had tears running down my face at times. And I don’t give two shits about cars. The Christmas specials are generally pretty hilarious. Usually they drop them in some random place, give them a tiny amount of money to buy a car, and set them off on some mission. Both the one where they each pick a “lorry” (love British terminology) and the one where they go to Vietnam had me in stitches.

      • Bridget says:

        Some of the travel specials are really fun – I enjoyed the Vietnam one immensely. Though the episode where Clarkson drives the Reliant Robin (and subsequently keeps rolling the car) is funny every single time I watch it. Again, the show can be quite funny.

    • Amy says:

      I used to watch “Top Gear” on BBC America a lot, and Jeremy Clarkson was very funny. He has a grumpy, droll, sarcastic sense of humor that I love. 😀
      LNG-was the Vietnam episode where they rode motorcycles from one end of Vietnam to the other? That really was a hilarious episode!

  10. soup lol says:

    “We were surprised at his reaction because we were all thinking ‘surely soup is food’.”

    I don’t know why I started giggling and shaking my head after I read that.

    • MtnRunner says:

      I thought it was funny too… unless it’s a hearty stew with lots of MEAT and thick slices of bread to go with it and pint or two of Guinness to chase it down, I’d still be hungry. Soup is no substitute for meat.

    • EscapedConvent says:

      There was an episode of Seinfeld centered around the question of whether or not soup was a meal!

    • Amy says:

      To me, soup is a bowl of seasoned hot water with a few tiny pieces of meat and about 6 noodles (except my homemade soup-I cram it with meat, noodles and anything else that goes well in it). It’s so boring and unsatisfying and just will not do if I’m really hungry…especially if I’d been craving a nice delicious steak for hours. I’d be grouchy too…but weren’t there any restaurants around they could have ordered from? If there were meat and cheese platters, couldn’t they have thrown them in the microwave and put them on some rolls? Hot dinner + meat=problem solved!

  11. kri says:

    ooh, I am gettting into my cupboard on Fracas Friday! We say “cupboard” always have. A cabinet is in the bathroom.Or office. Jeremy sounds like he has got regina George trapped in there with him. Bye, Jeremy.

  12. Jaded says:

    I’ve watched the show occasionally and it has its moments of hilarity but dear God, some of the racist/sexist quips had my jaw on the floor. You’d never get away with stuff like that on TV in Canada, you’d be bounced out faster than you could say “just kidding…”

    And apropos of the comments on vernacular differences above, my American friends all laugh at me when I say “pop” instead of “soda”.

  13. misstee says:

    Good – f*ck off – the amount, no matter how meagre taken out of my TV licence every year for this gimlet eyes toss bag has always driven me up the wall.

  14. Pandy says:

    Carnivore flying into a meat rage …

  15. Rebecca says:

    I love him no matter what!

  16. Jellybean says:

    I love him.
    I love him.
    And where he goes I will follow.
    I’ll follow….
    Watch the show folks!

  17. enike says:

    I commented earlier on this, but again: they (the BBC) booked the whole hotel for them. It is really too much to ask from the staff to cater for them? Even if its 10 pm? Soup and cheese platter after filming all day? Soup is a starter and cheese platter is an “afterthought”

    If it was my hotel, I would happily do the steak (before anybody got violent) How much effort cooking a steak would require? Especially, if you know as a hotel manager, that you don´t have another guests, and the only guests in the hotel you have, are arriving at 10 pm….. plenty of time to organize some proper meal

    very bad advertising for the hotel IMHO

    • Amy says:

      Also, aren’t there usually many restaurants near hotels? Couldn’t they have called in an order to one of them and gotten something delivered, or had a minion go get?

      • enike says:

        Amy, this is a good idea
        The hotel manager and staff seems incompetent a bit….

        And it´s not up to them to be surprised that “surely, soup is food”, their guests should decide, what is real food for them (unless it is the kind of home-made soup Amy you descriebed above, that sounds yummi:)

        And unless they only serve soup all the time, thinking, that it is enough food (which they don´t, I saw their menu on the daily mail, they normally do steaks)

  18. Geekychick says:

    But stars and divas have muc bigger tantrums about even smaller things and nobody reacts with fireing or suspension. i mean, I get it-he was whiny and pissy and threw a tantrum. Rihanna was late to her own charity concerts, leaving the whole school to wait for hours for a few playback songs; Mariah Carey…I mean, imagine the demands of Mariah Carey….I honetly don’t get what is so out-ragey here considering he’s a celebrity. On the other hand, the thing about cook beinh home at 10pm already surprises me: I have friends who are in hotel business abd one of them is a chef: if an important guest comes by, he goes back to work, and he never finishes at 10. If you cater to really rich, you don’t go home before midnight at least.
    Eh, IDK, it all seems strange to me.