Celebrity Millionaire shelved after female stars snub Clarkson over Meghan column
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At least three women, all household names, pulled out of filming in the wake of the presenter’s comments about the Duchess of Sussex, the Daily Mirror reports. Officially, production in Manchester this month was put on hold due to “scheduling issues”. But it has now been revealed female stars started backing out of the ITV show, despite having originally agreed to appear.
A source said: “ITV was left with no choice but to postpone the show. The feelings were made very loud, and very clear.
“Namely that they didn’t want to share a platform with Clarkson and, in doing so, risk being seen to legitimise his misogynistic comments.
“They were also appearing on the show to raise money for charity, and they were acutely aware that they didn’t want causes special to their heart to be caught up in any backlash.
“It was a no-brainer to be honest, they had to walk away.”Female stars refused to appear alongside host Jeremy Clarkson (Image: ITV)
ITV declined to comment on the female stars pulling out. But there is increasing speculation that the network could part ways with the former BBC Top Gear host.
ITV sources said that while they are contractually committed to film one more regular series of Millionaire, there are “no further commissioning commitments beyond that currently”.
The regular version of the hit show, however, is being shot this month.
But the celebrity offshoot – described as being “on hold” – could be quietly shelved. Clarkson has hosted the show, in which contestants have lifelines to help them answer questions in their quest to win £1million, since 2018.
The star, 62, provoked fury by writing in his column in The Sun how he wanted Meghan to be “paraded naked through the streets” and “dreams of people throwing excrement at her”.
He added that he hated the American former actress “on a cellular level”.
The columnist later revealed that he had said sorry to Harry and Meghan, and admitted that TV bosses were furious with him.
Amazon will stop working with him after next year when his current deal ends, according to reports.
His car series The Grand Tour – which he hosts with former Top Gear pals James May and Richard Hammond – will reportedly finish on Amazon in 2024.
The presenter said he had emailed the Sussexes to apologise, and added: “I really am sorry. This is me putting my hands up.”
Clarkson said at the time: “We’ve all been there. In that precise moment when we realise we’ve completely messed up. Your head pounds. And you feel sick. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.”
His apology came eight years after he was fired by the BBC for attacking a male Top Gear producer.
However, there is some good news for Clarkson. A petition calling for him to keep hosting Millionaire has now hit 60,000 signatures.
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