Jeremy Clarkson has prompted a backlash online after posting a tweet about the extreme weather conditions facing the UK.
The UK and other parts of Europe are set to experience a heatwave this week, with parts of the UK forecasted to reach record-breaking highs of up to 42 degrees.
On Twitter, former Top Gear host Clarkson wrote: “It’s very hot in the south of France but so far as I know, there’s no DefCon 8 level 3 killer death heatwave warning in place.”
The remark has been widely interpreted as a dig at the UK government’s response to the heatwave. However, while the tweet has been “liked” over 40,000 times, Clarkson was inundated with comments claiming that his comment was incorrect.
French officials have in fact issued several extreme weather warnings, and 16,000 people have now been evacuated from areas in the south coast amid the threat of wildfires.
Climate journalist Dave Vetter responded to Clarkson’s tweet with a map of European wildfire outbreaks, commenting: “You could, indeed you have, filled several books with all the stuff you don’t know.”
Medical specialist Dr Philip Lee wrote: “They’ve literally evacuated 14,000 people from Southern France Jeremy. Because it’s on fire.”
Someone else described the tweet as “tone-deaf” and “ignorant”, while another person wrote: “Clarkson speaking from his derriere...”
“This is an exceptionally stupid thing to say,” one Twitter user wrote.