FORMER Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has apologised after sparking a backlash with his comments about the Duchess of Sussex in his column in The Sun newspaper.

He said in a tweet published this afternoon that he was ‘horrified’ to have caused ‘so much hurt’. 

The tweet reads: “Oh dear. I’ve rather put my foot in it. 

“In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people. 

“I’m horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future.”

In the piece, Clarkson wrote that he “hated” Meghan and dreamed of her being paraded through British towns and publicly shamed, adding that “everyone who’s my age thinks the same way”.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation - IPSO - has received more than 6,000 complaints over the article.

The television presenter stars in Clarkson’s Farm, which sees him grow crops and look after livestock on land he owns in the Cotswolds.

It is not the first the time the 62-year-old Grand Tour presenter has found himself at the centre of controversy.

Born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, to parents Shirley and Edward, Clarkson started out as a motoring journalist working on local northern newspapers, including The Rotherham Advertiser and The Shropshire Star.

After going on to work for a number of other publications and automotive magazines, he secured his first major TV role on the original format of Top Gear, working on the show from October 1988 to March 1999.

Clarkson resumed presenting Top Gear when it returned in its new format in 2002, alongside co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond.

Despite the trio becoming incredibly popular, Clarkson was embroiled in various controversies during his time on the programme.

After making a series of offensive remarks, including comments about the German invasion of Poland and Hitler’s regime, lorry drivers, Indian culture and politicians, one of his biggest controversies came in 2014.

In an unused take for Top Gear, filmed in 2012, he is said to have used a racial slur under his breath while repeating the children’s rhyme Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.

The clip was later made public when it emerged on Daily Mirror’s website.

At the time it was reported that the BBC had informed Clarkson he would be sacked if he made any further offensive remarks.

Despite the warning, controversy continued to follow Clarkson and he was eventually suspended from Top Gear following a “fracas” with one of the show’s producers, Oisin Tymon.

It was reported that the 2015 incident occurred when the presenter was dissatisfied with the food he was offered while filming on location in North Yorkshire

After considering Clarkson’s behaviour, the BBC confirmed his contract would not be renewed after his “unprovoked physical and verbal attack” on Tymon left the producer in hospital.

At the time, then-director-general Tony Hall said the decision had been taken with “great regret” but that Clarkson’s attack on Tymon meant “a line has been crossed”.

It was not the first time Clarkson had been accused of violence, having reportedly sworn and punched British broadcaster Piers Morgan at the 2004 British Press Awards.

In July 2015 it was announced that Clarkson, along with his former Top Gear co-presenters Hammond and May, would host a new motoring show on Amazon Prime Video.

The Grand Tour first aired on the streaming service in 2016 and has since seen five series and a number of specials.

In 2018 it was revealed that Clarkson would take over from Chris Tarrant as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? on ITV.

The presenter also launched Clarkson’s Farm, an Amazon Prime Video documentary series following his attempts to run his farm in the Cotswolds.

The series was positively received after its release in 2021 and has since been renewed for a second and third series.