Fury of villagers living near Jeremy Clarkson's Didley Squat farm shop

Fury of villagers living near Jeremy Clarkson's Didley Squat farm shop

06/24/2021

Furious villagers living near Jeremy Clarkson’s farm blast the star as droves of tourists block roads to take selfies at his Didley Squat shop, forcing the council to put out cones to stop three-hour traffic jams and shattering their Cotswolds idyll

  • Villagers living near Jeremy Clarkson’s farm blast former Top Gear star as tourists block roads to take selfies
  • Residents are complaining about fans clogging up narrow country roads while visiting his Didley Squat shop 
  • It is alleged that Mr Clarkson is hitting the trade of local shops and pubs by selling food and even beer 
  • Others claim he is selling ‘stuff emblazoned with his face’ to cash in on Amazon series Clarkson’s Farm  
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here

Villagers living near Jeremy Clarkson’s farm which is featured in his hit TV show fear it is wrecking their rural idyll in the heart of the Cotswolds.

The former Top Gear host is facing a furious backlash from residents complaining about fans clogging up narrow country roads while visiting his new farm shop.

MailOnline found the car park on his farm still packed with people visiting today even though the shop was closed as it is only open from Thursdays to Sundays.

Some neighbours are also claiming that Clarkson, 61, is hitting the trade of local shops and pubs by selling food and even beer on his farm called Diddly Squat. 

 Villagers living near Jeremy Clarkson’s farm which is featured in his hit TV show fear it is wrecking their rural idyll in the heart of the Cotswolds

 The former Top Gear host is facing a furious backlash from residents complaining about fans clogging up narrow country roads while visiting his new farm shop

 MailOnline found the car park on his farm still packed with people visiting today even though the shop was closed as it is only open from Thursdays to Sundays

Some neighbours are also claiming that Clarkson, 61, is hitting the trade of local shops and pubs by selling food and even beer on his farm called Diddly Squat

Others have accused him of selling ‘hype’ and ‘stuff emblazoned with his face’ to cash in on the success of his new series called Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime 

Others have accused him of selling ‘hype’ and ‘stuff emblazoned with his face’ to cash in on the success of his new series called Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime.

The mega mouth presenter can be seen on the show trying to turn his hand to running his rural business by taking on the management of his 1,000 acre farm near Chadlington, Oxfordshire.

The farm is in the area of the Cotswolds which is the domain of the so-called Chipping Norton set of movers and shakers who have homes in local picture postcard villages.

Clarkson has long been described as being at the centre of the ‘set’ which includes former prime minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, former Blue bass player Alex James who now makes cheese, and Carphone Warehouse founder Sir Charles Dunstone.

The popularity of Clarkson’s Farm has led to thousands of his fans deciding to drive to his shop to check out his stock which includes honey, milk, jam, and a candle called This Smells Like My B*******, inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop range of wacky produce.

But local mothers have complained of being stuck in queues of traffic while on their school runs and country lanes became completely impassable last weekend with some motorists reportedly held up in gridlock for three hours.

MailOnline can reveal that council officials placed dozens of cones on the road outside the shop on Monday in a desperate bid to tackle the congestion.

One 33-year-old mother, collecting her son from the village primary school, said: ‘The shop is so dull. It’s all hype to sell you stuff emblazoned with his face and that is not appetising at all.

‘It was so chaotic last week that I was late picking up my son from school because the usual ten minute journey took me half an hour. It was a roadblock caused by Clarkson ites.

‘I know of one man who queued for two hours and ten minutes for a bag of truffle oil chips. Ridiculous.’

Clarkson bought his farm in 2008 and contracted it out to a local farmer to run before deciding to take control of it himself with the results filmed for his new show.

With no previous farming experience, he is featured contending with the worst farming weather in decades, disobedient animals, unresponsive crops and the coronavirus pandemic.

The show has made unlikely stars of tractor driver Kaleb Cooper, 21, who works for Clarkson while describing him as ‘annoying’, and local farmer Gerald Cooper, 72, who gives a helping hand and makes hilarious comments about the presenter’s abilities.

The farm is in the area of the Cotswolds which is the domain of the so-called Chipping Norton set of movers and shakers who have homes in local picture postcard villages

The popularity of Clarkson’s Farm has led to thousands of his fans deciding to drive to his shop to check out his stock which includes honey, milk, jam, and a candle called This Smells Like My B*******

MailOnline found the car park on his farm still packed with people visiting today even though the shop was closed as it is only open from Thursdays to Sundays

Elizabeth and Peter Bennett with their dog Alfie who visited the farm made famous by Clarkson’s Amazon Prime series

But many local residents are hoping that his decision to dabble in farming is just a passing fad, and that there will be no second series of the show.

One elderly resident, who asked not to be named, said: ‘We are very lucky in this village to have three shops and a pub but I do fear for how they will cope.

‘I think he has been very underhand. He spent a fortune on planning consultants and he has played the system.

‘He applied for a lambing shed which can’t be refused on farming grounds but now it’s there he wants to change it to a 150-seater restaurant.

‘Our village shop was saved by residents who turned it into a co-operative but he will certainly affect their trade.

Others have accused him of selling ‘hype’ and ‘stuff emblazoned with his face’ to cash in on the success of his new series called Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime

‘Also the pub, he’s got an alcohol licence now and he’s selling beers out of a shipping container.

‘He has this affable, self-deprecating style on the TV but if you cross him, he can be quite a bully.’

Local mother Daisy Thomson, 43, said she was underwhelmed by the products for sale in Clarkson’s farm shop.

She said: ‘I don’t get it. It’s just a shed full of potatoes. Compared to the existing farm shops it is pathetic with just a few over-priced pork pies.’

Another 40-year-old mother, who said she was too frightened to be named in case of a backlash from Clarkson’s fanbase, said: ‘I think he is completely self-serving.

‘He has never tweeted anything in support of the village beer festival or supported the numerous things the village needs help with. It’s all about him.

‘He owns acres of land and there’s a public right of way leading through it but people say they are intimidated out of using it.

‘I think he is taking the proverbial out of local people and not benefiting us in the slightest.’

A MailOnline reporter found fans still flocking to Clarkson’s shop to see it for themselves and take selfies even when it was closed today.

Those turning up were disappointed to find the shop shut, but were compensated by the sight of Kaleb driving around the fields on a tractor.

Timber merchant Garry Coats who had taken a diversion from a delivery in the area to take a look, said: ‘I am disappointed it’s not open.

‘I just wanted to buy some eggs from Diddly Squat Farm for my 16-year-old lad. He loves the show and I would pay anything for some eggs.’

His colleague Ben Foreman added: ‘I think the farm shop will do blindingly. The show is just hilarious and it is good to see Kaleb in the flesh. He is like the star of the show.’

Those looking for souvenirs had to content themselves with paying a pound and filling up a bottle with

Clarkson’s ‘Cow Juice’ from a 24 hour milk machine.

Clarkson with Kaleb Cooper, the straight-talking farmhand on the hit Amazon Prime series Clarkson’s Farm

Clarkson’s Farm worker Kaleb Cooper, one of the breakout stars of the hit Amazon Prime series

Clarkson with Gerald, one of the other breakout stars of the series who inspired Clarkson to launch the show 

Clarkson’s errors included buying a Lamborghini tractor that was too big to fit into his barn and after his first year his crops had made him a profit of just £144

Farmer Peter Bennett, 81, who has watched the show brought his wife Liz to visit to celebrate her 80th birthday.

He said: ‘I thought the show combined humour and nonsense with facts that were fed to the public very well.

‘People have no idea how their food is produced and it was very good for him to show all the hassles that go with it like the weather and the finances.’

Another fan, Galvin Broughton, 49, travelled from Lincoln in the hope of seeing Clarkson but was disappointed to find the shop closed and his hero absent.

He said: ‘It is a quality show. He is still a very cheeky chappy, but this time he is being schooled by the locals. It makes great TV.’

Clarkson’s errors included buying a Lamborghini tractor that was too big to fit into his barn and after his first year his crops had made him a profit of just £144.

Village butcher Jem Johnson, 65, who is featured in the show, said that he was not concerned by the competition as Clarkson’s foodstuffs were so overpriced.

Mr Johnson said: ‘He is probably helping my trade because people go up there and are disappointed with what he has got to offer.

‘Of course if you want to spend £7 or £8 on an artisan loaf then you’re well in – but his sausage rolls are £3 each and mine are £1.20 and homemade as well.

‘He’s had a few problems because he is supposed to source everything within a 20 mile radius, but that’s just not possible.

‘I have no problem with the place. The only issue is the parking because last week with all the hype you couldn’t get in or out of Chadlington.’

Another elderly villager, an 81-year-old member of the Green Party, said: ‘I watched it because I accidentally signed up for Prime on Amazon and decided to have a look.

‘I think if he is raising awareness of environmental issues that it could be a good thing. The programme makes clear how difficult it is to stay green and grow an economically viable crop.’

Shen Paget, 44, added: ‘I think it is really good that he has used genuine local people like Gerald and Kaleb rather than bringing in actors. They are just like they are in real life because I know them.

Lisa Hogan and Jeremy Clarkson during the Clarkson’s Farm photocall at St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel

‘A lot of people are complaining about the cars but people will always complain. I will certainly be going up there for a beer.’

Kaleb, who has a young baby with girlfriend Taya Wakefield, said of Clarkson: ‘He does annoy me sometimes. I take it quite seriously, you see. I’ve farmed there for the last four years, and I know everything about it.

‘So, I kind of treat it as my own, in a way, so I wanted to see it making money and doing very well. So, if he does f*** up, it really annoys me.’

Clarkson said of his team: ‘They are steering me, they are from the village, they are all local.

‘Kaleb is the most entrepreneurial person I’ve ever met – he knows how to farm, how to operate tractors – he loves it.

‘He has never been to London, well he went once on a school art trip but wouldn’t get off the bus.

‘He’s never been abroad, never been on a plane and has never left the five-mile area where he grew up. But he knows how to hate sheep which I’ve learned over two years.’

The Grand Tour presenter has tweeted: ‘I’m genuinely amazed at the response to Clarkson’s Farm. Thank you all so much for your kind words.’

He was forced to apologise to his neighbours saying he was ‘truly sorry about the traffic around our farm sop last weekend.’

Clarkson added: ‘We are doing everything we can to improve the situation.’

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