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Jeremy Clarkson suffers verbal battering on Have I Got News For You

Published 03/10/2015

Jeremy Clarkson was hosting the latest BBC1 series of Have I Got News For You.
Jeremy Clarkson was hosting the latest BBC1 series of Have I Got News For You.

Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson survived a verbal battering from the panel of Have I Got News For You as he hosted the opening episode of the show's 50th series.

His appearance on the satirical TV programme was his first time on the BBC since his ignominious departure earlier this year.

Clarkson was forced to pull out of the last series following the furore over his altercation with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon, which led to his leaving the corporation.

He was suspended by the broadcaster on March 10 after punching Mr Tymon during a row over a steak dinner, before the BBC announced his contract would not be renewed.

Clarkson took the comedy show in his stride as he bore the brunt of jibes from Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, along with comedian Richard Osman and journalist Camilla Long.

There were jokes about Clarkson's relationship with his new employer, Amazon, for whom he and his former Top Gear colleagues James May and Richard Hammond are making a new car show.

Encountering a sound problem during filming, Osman told him: "This wouldn't happen on Amazon Prime. Are you sure it's Amazon Prime and not Amazon past-their-prime?"

In a segment about the beleaguered car maker Volkswagen, Osman made a sly reference to Clarkson's Top Gear successor, saying: "I think it's one of those questions you need to know about cars to deal with ... Jeremy, have you got Chris Evans' phone number?"

Clarkson replied: "I am not allowed on the BBC to use the C-word. Cars."

But after a lengthy discussion on motoring, he said: "What are they going to do, f****** sack me? I've just thought of that - they can't, can they? It's quite good fun."

And when Osman aimed another barb at Clarkson, Long said: "Go on Jeremy, punch him." Osman added: "You remember how to punch, right?", sending Merton into mimicking a fight scene that had the audience in stitches.

The new series of Have I Got News For You is on Fridays at 9pm on BBC 1.

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