Did Jeremy Clarkson make his apology to Meghan Markle just to prevent pubs from cancelling his Hawkstone beer?
Jeremy Clarkson was encouraged to make his apology to Prince Harry in a bid to save the reputation of his lager brand.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a mutual friend of the two persuaded the television star to write to the Duke of Sussex after some pubs refused to stock his beer, Hawkstone, following his comments about Meghan Markle in his newspaper column.
After the outrage at him saying he ‘hated’ the Duchess of Sussex and wanted to see her paraded through the streets naked while people throw ‘excrement’ at her – apparently referencing a public shaming scene from the fantasy TV series Game Of Thrones – Clarkson’s business partner Johnny Hornby, who is also on the board of Prince Harry’s charity Sentebale, orchestrated the apology.
It is understood that Hornby – co-founder of Hawkstone along with Clarkson – feared that more pubs would drop the drink, like landlords such as Tom Doggett of the Red Lion pub in Evesham, Worcestershire. He has removed the lager from his establishment because he says he wants to ‘stick to his principles’.
In the column, Jeremy Clarkson said he ‘hated’ the Duchess of Sussex and wanted to see her paraded through the streets naked while people throw ‘excrement’ at her
Clarkson’s business partner Johnny Hornby (right), who is also on the board of Prince Harry’s charity Sentebale, orchestrated the apology
A source said: ‘Johnny is friends with both Jeremy and Harry so he was kind of in the middle of it all. He suggested that it would be a good idea for Jeremy to apologise. It was, after all, at a time when the beer’s reputation was being affected.
‘Jeremy decided he would do it and everyone now hopes that they can move on from it.’ Hawkstone lager is made using ingredients grown at Clarkson’s Diddly Squat Farm in the Cotswolds. Priced at around £4.20 per pint, it is sold in around 100 pubs across London, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Worcestershire.
Speaking of his decision to ban the lager, Mr Doggett said: ‘We have a lot of women who come here on their own and they say they feel safe in the pub… And if someone in the pub made comments like Jeremy Clarkson, at the very least I would ask them to be quiet or kick them out.’
Clarkson’s deal with Amazon Prime – for shows the Grand Tour and Clarkson’s Farm – appears to be over, while ITV bosses are refusing to say whether they will work with him after the contracted series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is filmed later this year.
Mr Hornby and Mr Clarkson declined to comment.
Clarkson was persuaded to write to the Duke of Sussex after some pubs refused to stock his beer, Hawkstone, following his comments about Meghan