FORMER Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson bore the brunt of a series of gags as he filmed an episode of Have I Got News For You, his first time on the BBC since his ignominious departure earlier this year.
Clarkson joined regular team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton to record the show, the first of the satirical panel programme’s 50th series.
He 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.
Clarkson took it in his stride as he received a verbal pummelling from Hislop and Merton during filming yesterday, along with comedian Richard Osman and journalist Camilla Long, the Radio Times said.
When Osman asked Clarkson if he regretted punching Mr Tymon, Hislop said he “wasn’t all bad” as he had also once allegedly punched the former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan.
And there were jokes poking fun at 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.
During 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?”
But Clarkson was happy to make jokes at his own expense, the Radio Times said, once insisting he was forbidden to discuss motoring matters.
He said: “I can’t talk about cars on the BBC. I can’t say the C-word.”
Clarkson 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.
The new series of Have I Got News For You begins at 9pm today on BBC 1.