20 years of Clarkson: Jeremy's postbag

Here's a collection of readers' rants and some praises to Jeremy over the years


Whatever Jeremy writes, it’s bound to attract sackloads of letters. Many readers love him. Others vow to kill him. Here is some of the mountain of correspondence that, over the past 20 years, has enabled Driving to heat its offices free of charge, by fuelling the Sunday Times boiler. Once it has been read, of course

Motoring offence
Never in all my years as a Sunday Times reader have I read such objectionable, ill-mannered and arrogant nonsense as that penned by Clarkson last week.
Peter Rowlands, Cosheston, Pembrokeshire (March 29, 1998)

Where others fear to tread
I turn eagerly to Jeremy Clarkson’s columns, but, unlike some of your correspondents, revel in his lack of political correctness and tongue-in-cheek style. In this age of implicit litigation and threatened reprisals for any commentator who dares to raise his head above the parapet, Clarkson is a breath of fresh air.
Richard Moore, Southampton (May 23, 1999)

Wild goose chase
I have tried desperately hard to find anything vaguely humorous or interesting about Jeremy Clarkson’s articles and I have failed on both counts.
J Ferris, Stalybridge, Cheshire (May 23, 1999)

Captain caveman
I have resisted the urge to drive to Clarkson’s residence and strangle him with the apron strings I should, it seems, be wearing. His Neanderthal opinions are tiresome. As for his views that men should feign incompetence, in his case, why “feign”?

Sarah Brown, by email (June 27, 1999)

Smoke bomb
Clarkson informed us last week that if you give up smoking “you will have no friends and you will look like an airship”.  Luckily he only needs to worry about getting fat.
Bob Fairless, Woking, Surrey (August 29, 1999)

Nutty fan
Am I the only person who loves Jeremy Clarkson’s column? I sit and audibly snigger while reading it each week, much to my husband’s irritation. I do not fit into most people’s idea of a Clarkson fan, being a teetotal, non-smoking lady of almost 60, who has nut and seed cake for breakfast. Please keep him writing indefinitely.
Margaret Atkinson, Bradford (September 12, 1999)

Animal crackers
Clarkson and diesels are becoming an obsessive subject … I realise you employ him because he is what the chattering classes call “an amusing little man” (size not being relevant here, you understand), but when he starts threatening to punch people in the face, I am reminded that road rage is now a criminal offence. Can you not put a collar and lead on him or control him in some way?
Charles Edwards, Horsham,  West Sussex (October 17, 1999)


Barf time
The few Americans aware of who Jeremy Clarkson is are quite glad he dislikes us. We feel the same about him. We know him as he really is — the man behind all that macho posturing who, when he finally got a ride in the F-15 Eagle fighter jet, could only puke helplessly before it was even airborne.
Colonel R Brotzman (USAF retired), Great Whelnetham, Suffolk (December 19, 1999)

International incident
In one short article Clarkson managed to offend the Americans, demean the Mexicans and lose what little respect the French, Italians and Germans  had for the Brits.
Talk about politically incorrect.
Amir Shivji, Kingston upon Thames, London (September 3, 2000)

Baiting list
I can’t decide which makes me laugh more on a Sunday morning — the daft stuff Jeremy Clarkson writes, or the daft folk who rise to his bait. Brilliant stuff.
Maggie Peacey, Abingdon, Oxfordshire (March 25, 2001)

Vote for Clarkson
No doubt the cabinet minister Patricia Hewitt shook her head and muttered again when reading Jeremy Clarkson’s article last week. However, one thing is for certain, and that is that Clarkson will still be around writing and appearing on television long after she has disappeared into political oblivion.
Bruce Rose, Hordle, Hampshire (February 2, 2003)


Mother’s pride
Dear Jeremy
Great to hear the Daihatsu Charade is good value and suitable for old people. I’m knocking 70. Has it got cruise control, to stop me acquiring any more points for speeding?
Love, Mum
Shirley Clarkson, via email  (June 3 2003)

Jeremy Clarkson MP
Jeremy Clarkson is spot-on in all his observations regarding the “system”, whether it is the socialist greeny nutters or the anti-car Luddite tendency. Really, he’s wasted as just a writer: perhaps he should consider an entry into politics.
I’ve read enough anti-Clarkson stuff and thought it’s about time that those of us who agree with him actually said so.
Nick Chalk, Buckfastleigh, Devon (January 22, 2006)

Double act
Jeremy is a natural born politician but, best of all, he and Boris Johnson could rapidly become the Morecambe and Wise of Westminster.
Huw Beynon, Llandeilo, West Wales (February 19, 2006)

Hair pressure
Several years ago Jeremy Clarkson stated that he would rather eat his own hair than buy a diesel car. Since then two things have happened.
First, as I understand it, he now owns a diesel-powered vehicle, and second, in a recent edition of Have I Got News for You I noticed that a pink patch could be seen on the crown of his head, so obviously he is beginning to honour his promise.
Peter B Hayward, Rochester, Kent (June 18, 2006)

Defender of the faithful
Thank God Jeremy Clarkson gave the Land Rover Defender a bad review. All we Defender owners can breathe a sigh of relief that we won’t be driving around in a trendy, must-have vehicle.


Chris Royce, Daljarrock, Ayrshire (December 10, 2006)

Spoof suspicions
Surely people realise Clarkson’s motoring columns are spoofs. How could anyone suppose such foolishness is anything other than a subtle satirical device to get us to accept that Mexicans are normal human beings, that electric cars and speed limits are good ideas and that boy racers should not be let out of play school? Or am I on the wrong track?
David Slinger, Highnam, Gloucestershire (February 13, 2011)

Horses for courses
Jeremy Clarkson describes golf as being “dreary”. This is rich coming from a man who encourages former television personalities and sporting has-beens to drive a reasonably priced car around a piece of old runway and then asks them to guess where they have finished on the leader board.
Trevor Laffan, Cobh, Co Cork (July 31, 2011)