Jeremy Clarkson hit with Meghan backlash as three female stars refuse to go on Millionaire 1 year ago

Jeremy Clarkson hit with Meghan backlash as three female stars refuse to go on Millionaire

'The feelings were made very loud, and very clear'

A Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? celebrity special has reportedly been shelved after female stars refused to work with host Jeremy Clarkson in the wake of the Meghan Markle scandal.

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 The Mirror reported that at least three female stars made it “very loud and very clear” that they did not want to be on TV with the host.

The household names, who have not been named, were due to appear on a charity celebrity series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? hosted by the 62-year-old after he ignited a torrent of outrage with a column in The Sun in December where he describes his "cellular level" hatred of the royal.

The tabloid later deleted the column at Clarkson's request, after it became the most complained about article ever. Earlier this month the former Top Gear host issued a grovelling apology to Meghan and Harry, which they rejected.

Filming for the special was postponed in Manchester this month with the official line that it was on hold due to “scheduling issues”.

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But behind the scenes of the ITV show there was chaos as stars started backing out, The Mirror reported, fearing that their charity causes might be caught up in the scandal.

A source told the publication: “ITV were left with no choice but to postpone the show.

“The feelings were made very loud, and very clear. Namely that they didn’t want to share a platform with Clarkson and, in doing so, risk being seen to legitimise his misogynistic comments.

“They were appearing on the show to raise money for charity, and they were acutely aware that they didn’t want causes special to their heart to be caught up in any backlash. It was a no-brainer, to be honest, they had to walk away.”

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ITV declined to comment to the Mirror about the female celebrities pulling out of the special.

The normal version of the show with Clarkson at the helm is being filmed this month.

While ITV is contractually required to go ahead with the show, there are reportedly “no further commissioning commitments”, meaning Clarkson, who has hosted the show since 2018, may not continue in the role.

A petition calling on ITV CEO Carolyn McCall for him to keep his job as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? has now surpassed 62,000 signatures.

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Amazon Prime Video has reportedly also parted ways with Clarkson. According to Variety, the streaming service won’t be working with the TV personality beyond seasons of The Grand Tour and Clarkson’s Farm that have already been commissioned. So, he may not be appearing in any new shows on Prime Video beyond 2024.