Born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, Clarkson first exhibited his anti-establishment tendencies when he got expelled from his Derbyshire boarding school for "making a nuisance of himself." His first job was as a traveling salesman for his parents' Paddington Bear toy business, and he later trained as journalist at the Rotherham Advertiser, going onto write for several other local newspapers including the Shropshire Star, where he made his debut as a motoring columnist. In 1984, Clarkson and fellow motoring enthusiast Jonathan Gill formed the Motoring Press Agency in which they conducted road tests for various publications, which led to a job offer at Performance Car magazine. Clarkson would go on to land columnist positions at national newspapers The Sun and The Sunday Times, publish over a dozen best-selling books in which he not only discussed his love of cars but also commented, typically with a large dose of cynicism, on the wider world, and of course, write for Top Gear magazine. But it was his 1988 appointment on the TV version of the latter which would establish his credentials as the world's most famous petrolhead.Motoring series "Top Gear" (BBC2, 1977-) was already over a decade old when Clarkson was appointed as one of several new faces for its twelfth season, but his humorous and highly critical style of presenting helped to give it a new lease of life, and by the end of his first year, it had become the channel's highest-rated show. Clarkson remained a regular fixture there for the next 12 years, and his increasing popularity also led to him fronting several other ratings successes during that period, including "Jeremy Clarkson's Motorworld" (BBC2, 1995-96), "Jeremy Clarkson's Extreme Machines" (BBC2, 1997) and his own chat show, "Clarkson" (BBC2, 1998-2000), as well as the first season of technological game show "Robot Wars" (BBC2, 1998-2003). In 1998, Clarkson found himself at the center of his first media storm after reportedly making bigoted comments about the staff of South Korean company Hyundai at a motor show. But it didn't affect his career, and while taking a break from "Top Gear" (BBC2, 1977-), he went onto land several further eponymous shows including "Jeremy Clarkson's Car Years" (BBC2, 2000) and "Jeremy Clarkson's Speed" (BBC1, 2001). Clarkson returned to his signature show for its 2002 studio-based reboot, when the focus shifted from the more practical elements of buying a car to a more unconventional array of novelty challenges, celebrity interviews and politically-incorrect banter. Joined by Richard Hammond and James May, Clarkson's provocative side was allowed to shine in this new format, and although he attracted just as many detractors as he did admirers, it was a style which helped propel the show from niche programming to global phenomenon. By the end of the decade, "Top Gear" (BBC2, 1977-) was the world's most watched factual show, with an estimated 350 million viewers across 170 countries, and had spawned a whole host of spin-off DVDs, books and music compilations. Clarkson also continued to diversify into other areas, presenting travel series "Jeremy Clarkson Meets the Neighbours" (BBC2, 2002), historical documentary The "Victoria Cross: For Valour" (BBC1, 2003) and paying tribute to various technological pioneers on "Inventions That Changed The World" (BBC1, 2004), as well as becoming a regular guest host of topical panel show "Have I Got News For You" (BBC1, 1990-) and contributor to "Grumpy Old Men" (BBC2, 2003-06). However, Clarkson's penchant for speaking his mind began to overshadow his talents as the '00s drew to a close. In 2008, he made a misguided quip about lorry drivers murdering prostitutes. A year later, he was criticised for making a mean-spirited comment about then Prime Minister Gordon Brown's eyesight, and in 2011, the BBC received 31,000 complaints after Clarkson joked on "The One Show" (BBC1, 2006-) that public sector strikers should be executed in front of their families. Clarkson also managed to offend the gay community, a facial disfigurement charity and the people of Mexico, Thailand Argentina, Wales and India, just to name a few, during what appeared to be a one-man politically-incorrect crusade. In 2014, Clarkson was perhaps belatedly given a final warning by BBC executives when he was discovered to have used a racial slur in a clip filmed, but never broadcast, several years previously. Clarkson was then suspended from "Top Gear" (1977-) in March 2015 following a dispute over catering in which he punched producer Oisin Tymon, and despite over a million signatures protesting against the decision, the show severed their ties with him for good just two weeks later.
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