Jo Brand's 'beef' with Jeremy Clarkson over savage call to sack presenter: 'So unfair'

Jo returned to screens last night for The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice at 8pm on Channel 4. The weekly programme, which is a companion show to the famous baking contest, sees the comic chat with a panel of celebrities and Bake Off fans about all the gossip from the tent. Jo has spent decades as a staple of the UK comedy scene, while she has presented the baking show’s spin off for seven years.

Her years at the forefront of the comedy circuit has led her to rub shoulders with some famous faces, and ruffle a few of their feathers.

In a throwback episode of the Graham Norton Show, the host asked about the “beef” between Jo and Jeremy Clarkson, after she joked that the broadcaster should be sacked from his role at the BBC years before he was finally given the boot.

In a November 2013 episode of the talk show ‒ two years before Jeremy was fired from the corporation ‒ Graham Norton welcomed Colin Farrell, Sharon Osbourne as well as both Jeremy and Jo. 

The presenter said: “I’m not normally nervous when I do this show but I do look at that couch and I think trouble ‒ if I was a teacher I would not sit you together.”

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Graham then inquired as to why Jo and Jeremy had had “beef” in the past.

The comedian replied: “Well, a small beef.

“A couple of years ago we went to a talent dinner and some TV exec ‒ they were all kind of news readers ‒ went around the table. Jeremy was opposite me.

“They said, ‘let’s start with you Jo, how would you improve the BBC?’

She told the literary festival audience that Jeremy was “rather charming” but that she couldn’t “stomach his public persona.”

She added: “I was only winding him up ‒ I know he is very successful and earns squillions, but he didn’t like what I said.

“He turned to me and said, ‘I don’t know why you’re on telly ‒ all you ever talk about is periods.’

“It was so unfair.”

The comedian did concede that Jeremy was “a very likeable person”, but accused him of being casually racist and misogynistic while in public.

Jo claimed: “I don’t like his casual racism and casual misogyny.

“Clarkson, like comedian Jimmy Carr, is a very likeable person who I don’t think believes some of the things he says.

“You might say that is worse in a way.

“He’s like a naughty boy who says things to wind you up.”

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