Jeremy Clarkson did not leave the BBC on good terms last year after punching a “Top Gear” producer — but he has defended the British broadcaster’s right to keep presenter pay secret.
Speaking to the Radio Times to promote his new Amazon Prime Video series “The Grand Tour,” Clarkson said it is “absolutely ludicrous” that the BBC will next year have to name stars who earn more than £150,000 ($186,000).
“People are obsessed with money,” he said. “Take the business of BBC talent. What country are we living in when we want to know how much people are paid? It’s disgusting.”
Clarkson said BBC director general Tony Hall should be trusted to do a good job and pay people the right amount of money. “You can’t be saying to him, ‘Why are you paying him that?’ Because if you don’t, he’ll go to ITV. It’s absolutely ludicrous,” he added.
Clarkson: My old BBC boss was a “bloody nuisance.”
The presenter also used the Radio Times interview to roast his former boss: The ex-BBC director of television Danny Cohen.
Clarkson and Cohen had a famously tense relationship, with the latter taking exception to the controversies that dogged “Top Gear” during Clarkson’s tenure. This included Clarkson appearing to use the N-word in a video leaked to The Daily Mirror and referring to a Burmese man as a “slope.”
Clarkson said: “Everybody thinks that the BBC was a bloody nightmare. It wasn’t. Cohen was. The BBC was brilliant to work for until the arrival of Mr Cohen. They never really interfered at all. But he was a bloody nuisance and caused me an enormous amount of stress.”
Cohen left the BBC last year. He is now president of Access Entertainment, a TV and film investment arm of Access Industries, the Warner Music-owner backed by Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik.
NOW WATCH: China just showcased the world’s most human-like robots, and they show how close we’re coming to Westworld reality
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.