James May has spoken out against his friend and co-star Jeremy Clarkson over his much-criticised column on Meghan Markle.
Clarkson’s fellow Grand Tour presenter called his comments about the Duchess Of Sussex, published in The Sun last month, “a little bit too creepy”, and said he does not share the same views.
Last month, the former Top Gear host faced widespread criticism over the opinion piece in which he said he “hated” Meghan on a “cellular level” and “dreamed” of the day she’d be “made to parade naked through the streets” while crowds “throw lumps of excrement at her”.
James was asked for his thoughts on the matter as he appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
While admitting he had not read the column as he had been away, James went on to say: “Well I think he [Clarkson] did say something like: ‘All people my age think the same way’.
“Well I’d like to go on record and say I don’t, and I’m only a few years younger than him,” he said.
Asked if he’d condemn the article, James continued: “I wouldn’t have written that.
“I think it sounds a little bit too creepy but I’m also very much in favour of free speech and allowing the ‘haters to hate’ so we can see what they have to say,” he said.
At the height of the controversy last month, Clarkson said he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt”, but stopped short of an actual apology at the time.
Since then, he has shared a lengthy statement on Instagram claiming he’d sent an email to both Meghan and her husband Prince Harry on Christmas Day to say his language in the column had been “disgraceful” and he was “profoundly sorry”.
He claimed: “Usually, I read what I’ve written to someone else before filing, but I was home alone on that fateful day, and in a hurry. So when I’d finished, I just pressed send.
“And then, when the column appeared the next day, the land mine exploded.”
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex later said: “On December 25, 2022, Mr Clarkson wrote solely to Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex. The contents of his correspondence were marked Private and Confidential.
“While a new public apology has been issued today by Mr Clarkson, what remains to be addressed is his long standing pattern of writing articles that spread hate rhetoric, dangerous conspiracy theories, and misogyny.
“Unless each of his other pieces were also written ‘in a hurry’, as he states, it is clear that this is not an isolated incident shared in haste, but rather a series of articles shared in hate.”