Jeremy Clarkson admits people couldn’t make Covid jabs due to traffic caused by his farm shop
Jeremy Clarkson has said traffic caused by visitors to his Diddly Squat Farm shop prevented some locals from getting to the health centre for their Covid vaccinations.
The former Top Gear presenter spoke about the furore in the first episode of the second installment of his Amazon Prime series Clarkson’s Farm.
In a preview of the episode, seen by The Independent, the Grand Tour host said that the farm shop “turned out to be rather more popular than we’d expected”.
The star admitted that he “didn’t think” that his shop would cause such mayhem, leaving some locals unable to get to their vaccination appointments nor a fire crew through to the local station.
Talking over footage of large queues, a packed car park and traffic, he continued: “Last week, the main road jammed up for three hours.
“People couldn’t get to be vaccinated at the health centre, and they couldn’t get a crew for the fire station.
“I just didn’t think it through. I didn’t think this many people would come.”
The comments comes after Clarkson admitted he’s yet to win over some of his neighbours in the Cotswolds who are unhappy with his Diddly Squat Farm and shop.
The 62-year-old purchased the Oxfordshire farm back in 2008, but only took over running it himself in 2019 and has documented the process for his successful Prime Video show Clarkson’s Farm.
Ahead of the show’s second series, the broadcaster claimed that some locals, particularly those who have “moved from London recently”, are less than enthused with his vision and “don’t want crowds of people coming” to the area.
He said: “The farm shop is over a mile from the village so it’s of no consequence, really, to the people who hate me. In a way, the village is divided. It’s difficult to say how many people support us in the village and how many don’t.
“Some of it, I’m sure, comes from my past, and driving quickly around corners while shouting, and they didn’t find that appealing.
“As far as the farm is concerned, it’s split pretty neatly between those who have a house number – you know, 22 Oak Avenue or 3 Grove or whatever – who tend to support us, because we bring business to the area and jobs for their kids.
“Some of them are more than happy to go have a nice pint with a lovely view just up the road. So that works.
“If they’ve got a house name, they tend not to like us, because they tend to have moved here from London quite recently, and they don’t want crowds of people coming to the farm shop, so that seems to me to be the split. That’s about as tightly as I can put it.”
Last month, Clarkson had been forced to close his controversial restaurant at Diddly Squat farm after admitting defeat in his battle with the local council.
The former Top Gear presenter opened the restaurant last summer despite an ongoing planning row with West Oxfordshire District Council, which had denied his application to create a restaurant on the farm in late 2021.
The TV star said he found a “delightful little loophole”, allowing him to open a pizza cafe in July 2022.
Although it was on a different site to the original one, the following month he was issued an enforcement notice ordering him to shut down the popular eatery.
WODC claimed that the parking, toilets, traffic, as well as the dining installed by Clarkson’s farm is “visually intrusive and harmful” to the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
His farm in Chipping Norton attracts global visitors since becoming the subject of Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime Video, much to his neighbours’ chagrin.
Amid his battle with the council, locals were said to be delighted that the plan for the restaurant appears to have been shelved, having complained about the heavy disruption and traffic jams, as well as the establishment not being in keeping with the quiet rural surroundings.
Clarkson’s Farm Series 2 launches on Prime Video on February 10, 2023