Jeremy Clarkson buys a pub despite gloomy forecasts for the industry

Jeremy Clarkson (Nick England/Getty Images)
Jeremy Clarkson (Nick England/Getty Images)

First there was Clarkson’s Farm, now prepare for the Clarkson Arms. Yesterday, Grand Tour presenter Jeremy Clarkson revealed his new venture: running a pub. “I’ve bought one today,” he told The Londoner.

His purchase came just hours after the news that 70 per cent of pubs could shut their doors this winter due to high energy bills.

But before he can start pulling pints behind the bar, Clarkson will first need to find the premises. “I don’t know the name or where it is,” he laughs. Rushing off from an event where he was launching the new series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Clarkson added: “I’ve got to go and look.”

The former Top Gear presenter launched his own brand of lager called Hawkstone last year. He raised giggles when he decided to call the beer ‘Lager McLagerface’. However, the agency employed to advertise the brand put the kibosh on this idea because the sobriquet was out of sync with a premium lager image.

The new pub will likely be subject to some interesting promotions when it opens for business. Some of Clarkson’s adverts for his lager included the phrase “f*** me, that’s good,” together with the claim Hawkstone lager was “better than Birmingham” and a video in which Clarkson was filmed drinking a pint in the morning before going to work.

All of these advertisements were banned by the Advertising Standards Authority. But despite some promotion woes, Hawkstone became the top selling beer on Amazon.

Since opening his Diddly Squat Farm in Oxfordshire, Clarkson has made headlines. He recently found a “delightful little loophole” which allowed him to open a restaurant on the farm despite plans originally being vetoed by councillors.

But now the restaurant is being investigated by the West Oxfordshire District Council. A spokesperson said: “The council was made aware of the restaurant opening at Diddly Squat Farm. As part of our standard operating procedure, we have been looking into the operation to ensure it is compliant with local and national planning law and policies, as well as licensing and food hygiene regulations.”

Clarkson has been credited with popularising farming since he bought the 1,000-acre plot in the Cotswolds and made a TV show about it titled “Clarkson’s Farm”. If he can give a similar boost to publicans, their future might be brighter than the headlines suggest.