Belfast Telegraph

Jeremy Clarkson confuses new Top Gear host with 'the IRA guy' Martin McGuinness

Jeremy Clarkson has confused new Top Gear host Paddy McGuinness with that of former Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

The motormouth former presenter of the BBC show was speaking at a news conference to promote the third series of the Grand Tour on streaming platform Amazon Prime.

He was asked if he had heard of the Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness - who will take over presenting the motoring programme with Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff  at the end of the next series after the departure of Matt LeBlanc.

"No. The IRA guy? No idea,” replied Clarkson according to several news organisations.

Later, he told the Daily Star he had misheard the question.

"I didn't know who Paddy McGuinness was. I have never seen that dating thing he does," he said.

"It was an honest mistake, I thought they said Martin McGuinness."

Top Gear fans will be able to watch Matt LeBlanc’s fourth and final series as host in early 2019, as well as another all-new series towards the end of the year with newcomers Flintoff and McGuinness at the wheel along with current host Chris Harris.

LeBlanc has hosted the show since 2016 but last year announced he was leaving because of the demands of the role.

Jeremy Clarkson along with Richard Hammond and James May left the BBC in 2015 after Clarkson was involved in a fracas with one of the show's producers. The trio had transformed the motoring programme into the BBC's most profitable show watched by millions around the world.

Paddy McGuinness said the Top Gear role is a "real honour and I'm thrilled the BBC have given me this opportunity".

He added: "To be hosting a show I've watched and loved from being a small boy is beyond exciting."

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