JEREMY Clarkson has described the Highlands as the most beautiful place on earth as he urged Scots to forget about independence.
The presenter spent last week filming in Scotland with colleagues Richard Hammond and James May for their Amazon Prime series The Grand Tour.
They travelled the North Coast 500 route and Clarkson fell in love with the scenery, ranking it as the most stunning place he had ever visited.
The former Top Gear host, 58, told how his trip had turned his thoughts to the independence debate and insisted the country should not go to the polls again.
He said independence was not the top priority for the locals he met and getting rid of the English would not “unite the country and bring back Sean Connery”.
He said: “I spent several days recently up beyond Inverness, and I’m not trying to suck up to the Scots, but it really is absolutely eyes-on-stalks beautiful. We often talk about breathtaking views, but in the Highlands they literally do that.
The bi-curious artisan who’s opened a craft shop in the Highlands selling jumpers knitted from her own armpit hair does not want the same things from Nicola Sturgeon as a heroin enthusiast from the tenements in Glasgow.
“I drove on Wednesday along the coast road north of Ullapool, and never have I gone so slowly. Sometimes the views were so spectacular, I coasted to a halt and never even noticed.
“The sky was the colour of a Norwegian model’s eyes. Tendrils of cloud spilt over snow-capped mountains before being whipped into nothing by the wind.
“And it went on and on and on. Past turquoise water like you find in the Maldives and islands as weird and as enticing as those in Ha Long Bay. This was, and I will take no argument on the matter, by far the most beautiful place on Earth. As far removed from anything we have in England as Timbuktu.”
The loudmouth presenter compared the independence debate to Brexit and said people from different parts of Scotland had opposing views on what was best for them.
Writing in his Sunday Times column, he added: “Scotland had a vote on independence in 2014, and sanity prevailed. Then those who lost immediately decided they’d like another vote. And so it will go until, eventually, they win, and we will have to post soldiers on the road out of Gretna Green.
“I don’t understand the need for Scottish independence. The Battle of Falkirk was a very long time ago. And it’s not as if England can win the Calcutta Cup any more. What’s more, the Scottish have exactly the same problem with going it alone as we’ll have post-Brexit.
“The bi-curious artisan who’s opened a craft shop in the Highlands selling jumpers knitted from her own armpit hair does not want the same things from Nicola Sturgeon as a heroin enthusiast from the tenements in Glasgow.
“They may think that getting rid of the English will unite them all and bring Sean Connery back. But it won’t.
“Do they want different laws? Really? What laws? Legalisation of burglary? The age of consent raised to 48? Compulsory yodelling for anyone on a bicycle? No. They want the same things as you and I. Something to do in the day and some disposable income at the weekend.”
Clarkson, Hammond and May chose classic Italian cars - a Fiat X19, a Lancia Gamma and an Alfa Romeo GTV6 - to travel along the 516-mile North Coast route. Around 100 locals gathered to watch them finish filming at Inverness Castle on Friday.
Clarkson, sacked from his Top Gear role in 2015 following a bust-up with a producer, has previously caused controversy with his comments on Scotland.
He has said Scots should be grateful to the English for introducing them to “proper food and trousers” - and branded Gordon Brown a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”.