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Bill Bailey says Jeremy Clarkson ‘got the kicking he deserved’ over Meghan Markle column

Bill Bailey has said that Jeremy Clarkson “got the kicking he deserved” over his column about Meghan Markle in The Sun.

The piece has become the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s (Ipso) most complained-about article, and has attracted criticism from high-profile figures, politicians, and his own daughter, Emily Clarkson.

In the column, Clarkson wrote that he dreamt of the day that the duchess would be made to parade naked through Britain while a crowd chanted “shame” and threw “excrement” at her.

The former Top Gear presenter, 62, claimed that “everyone who’s my age thinks the same way”.

Bailey, 57, is the latest celebrity to weigh in on the controversy.

In an interview with The Telegraph, which took place days after Clarkson issued an apology for the piece, the comedian said: “That was classic Twitter.”

He continued: “You might [make a comment like Clarkson’s] in the pub as a clumsy, oafish sort of laugh. But you put it in print and not only does it take on another life but it gives gravitas to something that should never have had it.

“You think, ‘Come on, you’ve got to be more savvy than that, surely you can see how that’s going to pan out’. It was misguided and ill-conceived and he got the kicking he deserved.”

 (TalkTV)
(TalkTV)

More than 60 cross-party MPs wrote to The Sun’s editor to demand an apology and that “action” be “taken” against Clarkson. The SNP’s shadow culture minister called for the presenter to be banned from TV.

In response to the backlash, Clarkson wrote on Twitter that he had “put my foot in it”. He said he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt” and that he will “be more careful in the future”.

Clarkson said that he made a “clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones” that “went down badly”.

The Sun also said that it “regrets” the publication of the article and is “sincerely sorry”. The article has since been removed from The Sun’s website on Clarkson’s request.

Harry and Meghan have called The Sun’s apology “nothing more than a PR stunt”.

The column followed shortly after the release of Harry and Meghan’s six-part Netflix documentary, Harry and Meghan, in which the couple made allegations of mistreatment against the royal family.