Jeremy Clarkson denies he has been axed from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? amid Meghan Markle column fallout

1 March 2023, 15:57 | Updated: 1 March 2023, 18:49

Jeremy Clarkson (l) axed as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire host over Meghan column fallout
Jeremy Clarkson (l) axed as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire host over Meghan column fallout. Picture: Shutterstock/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Jeremy Clarkson has denied being dropped as the host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? following controversial comments he made about Meghan Markle in a newspaper column.

ITV, which broadcasts the show, has distanced itself from Mr Clarkson's column, in which he said he "hated" Ms Markle.

The presenter said on Wednesday evening: "So many kind messages about today’s reports. But relax. Lisa and I have not split up and I have not been sacked as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire."

ITV said that it had not commissioned any more shows "as is typical with such shows where we make commissioning decisions on a series by series basis."

"Therefore for the avoidance of doubt neither Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? nor Jeremy Clarkson have been cancelled.”

It comes after Clarkson sparked a major backlash after saying in an opinion piece that he wanted to see her “paraded through the streets.”

The Sun, which published the piece, issued an apology.

Jeremy Clarkson on the set of Clarkson's Farm
Jeremy Clarkson on the set of Clarkson's Farm. Picture: Alamy
Harry and Meghan
Harry and Meghan. Picture: Alamy

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ITV boss Carolyn McCall said there were no plans for other episodes with Mr Clarkson after the forthcoming season of the popular quiz show.

“We have a contract. We’re contracted to this [season], so we will do that. And then we have no future commitments,” McCall told Variety magazine.

She added: “There was no dissent internally. We came out much quicker than anybody else, Amazon included.

“We just came out and said, ‘Yes, we do not endorse a single word that he said on that. And there’s no place for that on ITV.’ So we came out very quickly and just said, you know, that wasn’t on ITV. But we don’t endorse that in any way. And there’s no place for that on ITV.”

ITV said in a statement: “As we have said before, ITV has a further series of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? contractually commissioned (which has now recorded), and no further commissioning commitments beyond that currently.”

Weeks after the letter was published, it was reported that a special episode of Millionaire was shelved after three female stars refused to work alongside him.

ITV said the cancellation was due to “scheduling issues.”

Clarkson is thought to have been paid £3m to present the hit quiz, after taking over from Chris Tarrant in 2018.

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