Jeremy Clarkson says Diddly Squat backlash led by Londoners who name their country homes
Whether it's his views on royalty, foreign nations, or simply which brand of car is superior - there are many things which might divide the public's opinion of Jeremy Clarkson.
But the presenter has claimed that what splits his supporters and detractors is something very close to home.
Clarkson has blamed people who have “a house name" for leading a backlash against his farm shop, called Diddly Squat, based near the quaint Cotswold village of Chadlington.
Conversely, the broadcaster has said that those living near his farm who “have a house number” broadly support his attempt at agriculture, and the tourism it has brought to the area.
Commenting on how his rural neighbours view his farming project, documented in the hit Amazon series Clarkson's farm, he said: "In a way, the village is divided. "It's difficult to say how many people support us in the village and how many don't.
He added: "As far as the farm is concerned, it's split pretty neatly between those who have a house number - you know, 22 Oak Avenue or 3 Grove or whatever - who tend to support us, because we bring business to the area and jobs for their kids.
“Some of them are more than happy to go have a nice pint with a lovely view just up the road. So that works.
"If they've got a house name, they tend not to like us, because they tend to have moved here from London quite recently, and they don't want crowds of people coming to the farm shop, so that seems to me to be the split.”
While Clarkson’s Farm proved a hit for viewers, the farm itself has not proved as popular with the community in Chadington, and the attached farm shop has been a particular point of contention due to the increased traffic it has generated as a result of tourists flocking to buy produce.
In 2021, Clarkson had a showdown with villagers in a public meeting, but pressed on with his project and later opened a Diddly Squat restaurant alongside the already existing shop.
This site closed in December amid a backlash against a column Clarkson wrote about Meghan Markle, in which he made reference to her being paraded naked, and following the publication of this piece it was announced that after 2024 Clarkson and Amazon would part ways.
There was no confirmation that either act was undertaken in response to the backlash against the column, for which Clarkson has apologised.
The second series of Clarksons' Farm will be released in February, despite the recent controversy and the divided attitudes of villagers, some of whom the presenter has given up trying to win over.
He said: “The people who spoke early on, I have emphatically not won them over. I lost them years ago. The ones who spoke first were the ones who really wanted to get it off their chest."
He added: "But I think the room had plenty of people in there who were alright with me.
"One guy said, 'I've lived in this village for 50 years. There are jobs for my kids (now). My house is worth more. I can go up there and have a lovely pint and look at that view. It's the best thing that's happened to this area for the 50 years since I've lived here'.
"So, there's that attitude. They're very happy. And to be brutally honest, the farm shop is over a mile from the village so it's of no consequence, really, to the people who actually hate me, and hate the farm shop, and hate the popularity."