Jeremy Clarkson on being ‘accosted’ as fans were determined to ‘take photo of his penis’

Jeremy Clarkson jokes about Top Gear hosts

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Jeremy Clarkson, 61, has been in the public eye since 1988, when he joined Top Gear as a presenter. His witticisms, advanced knowledge of cars and, as he’d like to think in some cases, everything else, propelled him to international fame, but with that came some very strange experiences with fans.

A group of guys seemed very determined to take a photograph of my penis

Jeremy Clarkson

Over the years, The Grand Tour star has taken millions of photographs and signed thousands of autographs for his growing fanbase, but there was one memorable incident that has remained engrained in his mind.

“I was once accosted at a motorway service station urinal,” he sighed.

“A group of guys seemed very determined to take a photograph of my penis.

“And there’s no point using the cubicles instead because if they know you’re in there, camera phones will soon appear under the door and over the side of the stalls.”

The recollection came after one of the young lads who videoed themselves “harassing” Chris Whitty, lost his job as an estate agent and was charged with assault.

The Chief Medical Officer was filmed by two men the other week as he tried to flee their clutches, and while they were branded “despicable thugs” by Boris Johnson and thousands of others who saw the footage, Jeremy wondered whether the punishment really fit the crime.

It prompted him to think about how people nowadays seem to live their lives as a series of ten-second movies.

“All of them are competing for an Oscar,” he said of his own encounter in the toilet stall.

“That’s why Chris Whitty was accosted as he tried to walk down the street.”

And despite his own trying experiences with fans, Jeremy sympathised with the men’s recent condemnation.

“I doubt they wanted to hurt him or humiliate him,” he shrugged.

“They just wanted some footage which would make their Instagram account more interesting than Gaz’s and Shaz’s. And that doesn’t make them ‘despicable thugs.'”

He added: “Certainly, I don’t see why someone should be sacked for being what? Young?”

While on the subject of fan reactions, he also revealed that when he’s been mobbed in public, things “often turn mildly physical”.

After claiming that he doesn’t think it is “entirely fair” for the young man to have lost his job in the case Mr Whitty, he noted that if you’re in the public eye, you “have to expect attention” when out and about in public.

“If I walk past a building site, or a pub, I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be surrounded almost immediately by a gang of young men shouting ‘One photo. One photo,'” he wrote in his column for The Sun.

“I could be on my way to a funeral. Or an important meeting. But it doesn’t matter.

“They never take “no” for an answer and often, things turn mildly physical.”

But he reasoned with those wanting to experience his company, continuing: “It’s not thuggery, though.

“It’s just a group of usually good-natured lads, who want a picture.”

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