Cruising for a bruising

By admin
15 April 2011

He’s very much a guy’s guy who says what’s on his mind and doesn’t seem to care if he comes across as brash and boorish.

He’s also one of the most popular presenters on motoring TV show Top Gear and an internationally acclaimed motoring journalist with a worldwide following.

Sharp-tongued, witty and irreverent, Jeremy Clarkson gets away with a lot. But it’s anyone’s guess as to how his fans will react after news of his affair with a leggy blonde broke while he was on holiday in Barbados with his wife and kids.

Jeremy (51) has apparently been taking events organiser Phillipa Sage (42) to one hotel after the other and was seen with her next to a pool in Johannesburg on his recent South African tour.

Nobody knows whether Frances (49), his wife of 18 years, knew about the affair which has apparently been going on for a year. She has yet to say what she thinks of all the talk of infidelity – but it can’t be easy for her.

After all, she’s Jeremy’s mentor and manager – and insiders say if it weren’t for her advice he wouldn’t be nearly as rich and famous and desirable to others.

Frances is widely believed to be the brains behind the successful Clarkson brand. When she married Jeremy in 1993 shortly after he left his first wife, Alexandra James, he was an unknown motoring journalist with a mountain of debt.

But behind closed doors they’re believed to be far from the united front seen at work. Frances and their children, Emily (16), Finlo (15) and Katya (12), live on their sprawling country estate in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. Jeremy owns a flat in Notting Hill, London, where he lives most of the week, going home to his family only on weekends.

Friends say they have a marriage of convenience and Frances stays with him because of the vast fortune they’ve amassed over the years. That could explain why she hasn’t left him despite numerous allegations of cheating over the past few years.

Friends and colleagues say his behaviour is nothing out of the ordinary – he’s a shameless flirt with a bombastic attitude that incredibly seems to win him more fans than foes.

As one fan puts it: “I enjoy watching Top Gear because Clarkson is so awful it’s entertaining to see to what depths he’ll sink to next. Yes, I find him funny. No, I wouldn’t like him as a friend. And as a husband and father he’s very far from being star material.”

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