‘I’m always getting shouted at’: Backstage With… Jeremy Clarkson who swaps cars for cows
He’s known for hosting The Grand Tour and previously Top Gear, but in his latest show Jeremy Clarkson is swapping cars for cows as he takes up farming.
Clarkson‘s Farm sees the presenter getting to work on land he owns following the retirement of the farmer who had been looking after it, and follows his antics for a year.
In order to learn the ropes, the 61-year-old calls in local farmer Kaleb Cooper, who almost immediately has to tell Clarkson off and put him in his place.
It’s a sight many viewers won’t be familiar with, but Clarkson claims it’s something he’s used to.
“I get shouted at all the time,” he told Sky News’ Backstage podcast. “I’m constantly being shouted out by newspapers and bosses, I’m always being shouted at. You don’t see it on television – I’m shouting at James May and Richard Hammond, that’s usual.
“But in real life, you get shouted out by people who know what they’re doing. I didn’t know what I was doing… I thought I know best, and then, of course you realise you don’t know best, you must listen.”
There’s no doubt it’s been a steep learning curve for the star, who says he bought the farm that he lives on in 2008 on impulse and then decided to work on it himself on impulse, too.
He says the idea to turn his endeavours into a TV show grew as he started farming and realised how much he had to get his head around.
“I was starting to think I didn’t know anything about farming, and then I thought if I don’t know anything about farming, chances are a lot of people don’t know anything about farming,” he said.
“Whatever [farming insights] we get are from the news, which is: look at this American with an overheated shed full of animals that are dying of thirst and hunger and misery, or you’ve got Kate Humble with a newly born lamb in a nice little barn, bottle feeding it.”
The presenter says his farm is typical of many in the UK, so the series really raises awareness of the challenges faced by farmers.
“I thought we’d do a straight farming programme… this is a medium-sized farm – it’s not particularly big and it’s not particularly small – growing what almost everybody grows around here anyway,” he said. “And this is farming – and it’s not the caricature of Jeremy Clarkson, it’s actually Jeremy Clarkson.
“It’s not the one that falls over and catches fire, it’s the one who gets shouted out all day long.”
Clarkson unwittingly chose a tough year to start his new career, not because of the coronavirus pandemic, but because the weather made life for farmers extremely challenging.
He says there were five weather records broken in the year from 2019 to 2020, with a wet autumn and a hot dry spring.
But despite the rough start, Clarkson has no regrets. “Because I’ve got nothing to judge it against – I’d never been in a good year and here I am in the next year and we’re having the wettest spring just about ever… it’s all mad, so I can’t judge.”
Cooper, the young farmer tasked with teaching Clarkson the basics, told Sky News’ Backstage Podcast the star does not make a good pupil.
“He was terrible, he didn’t listen at all,” he said. “I’d tell him one thing and be like, ‘you haven’t got that, have you?’ He’d go, ‘yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah’.
“He didn’t listen, he just switched off and goes, ‘you know what, I know how to do it anyway’.”
Clarkson’s Farm is out on Amazon Prime Video – hear our review in the latest episode of Backstage, the film and TV podcast from Sky News
Taylor Swift crowned Time magazine’s Person of the Year
Taylor Swift has been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2023.
The music star, 33, told the publication: “This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt, and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been.
“Ultimately, we can convolute it all we want, or try to overcomplicate it, but there’s only one question: Are you not entertained?”
The Shake It Off singer beat a range of finalists to take the title, including Barbie, former US president Donald Trump’s prosecutors and the King.
It tops off a record-breaking year for Swift, and she has collected several other end-of-year awards.
People Magazine named her 2023’s most intriguing person of the year while Forbes awarded her the title of the world’s most powerful woman in media and entertainment.
The 12-time Grammy winner also became Spotify’s most-streamed artist globally, with her songs being streamed more than 26 billion times.
She recently scored her seventh Grammy nomination for song of the year – overtaking Sir Paul McCartney and Lionel Richie.
Her Eras Tour is set to gross more than $1bn while the film version was the highest grossing concert film ever.
She also re-released new versions of her third and fifth albums Speak Now and 1989, which was sparked by a feud with music executive Scooter Braun over ownership of Swift’s masters.
Former Time Person of the Year winners in recent years include Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Elon Musk and Greta Thunberg.
Time’s editor-in-chief Sam Jacobs said on NBC’s Today programme: “Picking one person who represents the eight billion people on the planet is no easy task.
“We picked a choice that represents joy. Someone who’s bringing light to the world,” he said.
“She was like weather, she was everywhere.”
Time awards the title to “the individual, group, or concept that has had the most influence on the world throughout the previous 12 months.”
US actors’ union SAG-AFTRA hails ‘enormous victory’ as it ratifies deal that ended strike
The US actors’ union has said the deal that ended its months-long strike was an “enormous victory” after it was ratified last night.
About 78% of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) members voted in favour of the contract, with a turnout of around 38%.
The walkout lasted 118 days and brought Hollywood to a standstill, halting productions on film and television shows.
The strike ended on 9 November when a tentative agreement was reached between the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers (AMPTP). It began on 14 July, with pay disputes and the threat of artificial intelligence being the main issues.
SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher and chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said: “Today we close out one of the most important chapters in recent entertainment industry history.
“This contract is an enormous victory for working performers, and it marks the dawning of a new era for the industry. Getting to this point was truly a collective effort.
“With the ratification of this agreement, SAG-AFTRA members will receive unprecedented wage escalation, significantly improved streaming compensation, and the first-ever crucial protections around the use of artificial intelligence technology.”
The deal now specifies compensation has to equate to the amount of work that would have been done by the actor, while companies have to get the consent of performers to use their facial features as part of the creation of any synthetic elements.
The actors’ strike came at the same time as the Writers Guild of America action, which was resolved in September, as the union agreed to a deal with studio bosses after 146 days on the picket line.
Denny Laine: Paul McCartney pays tribute after Moody Blues singer and Wings guitarist dies aged 79
Denny Laine, the lead singer of English rock band the Moody Blues and guitarist with Wings, has died aged 79.
The co-founder of both Wings, which also featured Sir Paul McCartney, and The Moody Blues “passed away peacefully” following a battle with lung disease.
In an Instagram statement, Elizabeth Hines wrote that it was an “absolute honour and privilege to not only be his wife, but to care for him during his illness and vulnerability”.
She wrote: “My darling husband passed away peacefully early this morning.
“I was at his bedside, holding his hand as I played his favourite Christmas songs for him. He’s been singing Christmas songs the past few weeks and I continued to play Christmas songs while he’s been in ICU on a ventilator this past week.
“He and I both believed he would overcome his health setbacks and return to the rehabilitation centre and eventually home.
“Unfortunately, his lung disease, Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), is unpredictable and aggressive; each infection weakened and damaged his lungs. He fought every day. He was so strong and brave, never complained.
“All he wanted was to be home with me and his pet kitty, Charley, playing his gypsy guitar.”
Sir Paul posted on Instagram to pay tribute to Laine, saying he was “very saddened” by his ex-bandmates passing.
He said: “I have many fond memories of my time with Denny: from the early days when The Beatles toured with the Moody Blues.
“Our two bands had a lot of respect for each other and a lot of fun together. Denny joined Wings at the outset. He was an outstanding vocalist and guitar player.
“His most famous performance is probably ‘Go Now’, an old Bessie Banks song which he would sing brilliantly. He and I wrote some songs together, the most successful being ‘Mull of Kintyre’ which was a big hit in the Seventies.
“We had drifted apart, but in recent years managed to re-establish our friendship and share memories of our times together.
“Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humour and was always ready to help other people. He will be missed by all his fans and remembered with great fondness by his friends. I send my condolences and best wishes to his wife, Elizabeth and family.
“Peace and love Denny. It was a pleasure to know you. We are all going to miss you.”
Ms Hines also wrote that the support from the public “brought him to tears”, and said her “world will never be the same”.
She added: “Denny was an amazingly wonderful person, so loving and sweet to me.
“He made my days colourful, fun and full of life-just like him. Thank you sweetie for loving me, for all the laughter, friendship, fun and for asking me to be your wife. I will love you forever.
“Please give Denny’s friends and family the time and privacy needed as we grieve our loss.”
Born Brian Hines in Tyseley, Birmingham, in October 1944, Laine had been a member of Birmingham-formed The Moody Blues during the 1960s.
He quit the band shorty after releasing The Magnificent Moodies in 1965 over a conflict with their record label.
He then joined Sir Paul and Linda McCartney in the Wings line-up in 1971 before departing the band in the 1980s.
Laine was also part of the World Classic Rockers, a touring act which had Donovan, Spencer Davis and founding member of The Eagles Randy Meisner play at various times.
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