Jeremy Clarkson has found himself embroiled in another controversy, amid his claim he apologised to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry over his widely criticised column, after he revealed that he is taking a prescription diabetes medication to lose weight and prevent the illness.
The British presenter, 62, opened up about his experience with Ozempic, a diabetes medication that has also been controversially touted as a diet pill, in his latest column for The Sunday Times.
In the column, which is titled: “I’ve had a magic jab and my giant gut’s already shrinking,” the former Top Gear host laments about gaining weight as he has gotten older, with Clarkson admitting that “the real reason is that I drink far too much wine, I eat far too many slabs of Cadbury Fruit & Nut chocolate and I drink a litre of milk before going to bed every night. Unless there’s a beer in the fridge”.
Although he acknowledged the reason for his weight gain, he said the change in appearance is typically easier to come to terms with because everyone is in the same boat.
However, according to Clarkson, he sought a prescription for injectible drug Ozempic after realising that “various friends weren’t in the same boat,” but rather were “getting thinner”.
In the column, Clarkson said that he initially thought the change in his friends’ appearances was the result of type 2 diabetes, an illness that he said he has only recently begun to worry about. “They’d had the diagnosis. But then I noticed that they were all still going to parties and enjoying a refreshing pint of wine,” he wrote. “It turned out they’d all started taking a new Danish drug called Ozempic, and when questioned they all raved about it.”
According to Clarkson, after witnessing the transformations, and hearing the positive reviews for the drug, which he notes was “developed to help people with diabetes, but can also be prescribed as a preventive measure,” he visited a clinic to see if he was a suitable candidate.
After learning through blood tests and ultrasounds that he was a suitable candidate, Clarkson said he ignored warnings from the doctor about the drug’s side effects. “I nodded and she gave me a prescription,” he wrote.
The columnist then recalled his ease at finding the prescription at the first pharmacy he tried, while acknowledging that the drug is facing shortages amid a rise in its use as a weight-loss method.
“There are reports that Ozempic is in short supply because of demand from all the fat-boy City types in the UK, and a TikTok weight-loss trend in Australia, but I found it at the first chemist’s I tried,” he recalled.
In the column, Clarkson then remembered his shock at the price of the prescription, which he said cost £140 ($170), before sharing his praise for the drug’s effectiveness, which he described as “genuinely incredible”.
“I can open the fridge, where there’s half a chicken and a juicy bottle of rosé, and I want neither. Of course, I’ll have to insert some balance in the future, or I’ll, you know, die. But for now it’s tremendous,” he concluded. “I never used to know what Kate Moss was on about when she said that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, but I think, on my new wonder drug, I soon will.”
On social media, Clarkson’s celebration of the drug has sparked a debate, with some criticising the presenter for using the medication as a weight-loss method, despite its intended use to improve blood sugar in people with diabetes.
“For all those diabetics struggling to find one of the medicines keeping you alive, here’s why: people like Jeremy Clarkson are buying it up to lose weight #Ozempic,” fellow columnist Grant Feller tweeted.
According to someone else, Clarkson is being “incredibly irresponsible” by publicising the drug, which does not currently have FDA approval for weight loss.
“It does not have approval as a weight loss drug and FDA approval only for treating type 2 diabetes – not ‘warding it off’. @JeremyClarkson is being incredibly irresponsible in publicising it. If approved in the UK for type 2, it would be free, as all diabetic medication is,” they wrote.
The drug semaglutide, which is also branded as Wegovy, is available on the NHS as a weight-loss drug ââafter a watchdog approved its use last year.
According to The Guardian, the drug is approved for adults with “at least one weight-related condition, such as obstructive sleep apnoea or heart disease, and a body mass index (BMI) of at least 35”.
However, according to the outlet, patients will only be given a prescription for semaglutide “as part of a specialist weight management service involving input from several professionals, and for a maximum of two years”.
“Clinical trial evidence shows that people lose more weight with semaglutide together with supervised weight loss coaching than with support alone,” the outlet added.
The debate over Clarkson’s use of the drug comes after he revealed that he apologised to the Duchess of Sussex over his controversial column in The Sun, in which he made a number of disparaging remarks about her.
On 16 January, the presenter shared a lengthy statement with his followers on Instagram, where he claimed to have emailed “Harry and Meghan in California to apologise to them too”.
“One of the strange things I’ve noticed in recent times is that whenever an MP or a well-known person is asked to apologise for something, no matter how heartfelt or profound that apology may be, it’s never enough for the people who called for it in the first place,” he wrote in part. “So I’m going to try and buck the trend this morning with an apology for the things I said in a Sun column recently about Meghan Markle.
“I really am sorry. All the way from the balls of my feet to the follicles on my head. This is me putting my hands up. It’s a mea culpa with bells on.”
Despite the apology, Amazon has reportedly cut ties with Clarkson over the remarks he made about the duchess. Sources told Variety that Prime Video, the tech giant’s streaming service, will no longer be working with the British presenter beyond episodes of The Grand Tour and Clarkson’s Farm that have already been commissioned.
The Independent has contacted Clarkson and The Sunday Times for comment.