Connect with us

World

Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson becomes surprise star in the east as Clarkson’s Farm is welcomed by millions of viewers to five-star ratings in China

Published

on

First Alan Titchmarsh became an unlikely hit in North Korea thanks to his green fingers and mild-mannered charm on Titchmarsh’s Garden Secrets.

And now Jeremy Clarkson has become another surprise star in the East, with the former Top Gear presenter’s agricultural antics attracting millions of Chinese viewers and thousands of five-star reviews.

Clarkson’s Farm has been viewed more than five million times on the Chinese streaming service BiliBili, earning a 9.6 out of 10 rating on the review website Douban.

Fans have been captivated by Jeremy Clarkson’s realistic depictions of life as a farmer and find his obstinacy and agricultural ignorance amusing. Viewers have posted more than 120,000 reviews – with many affectionately referring to Mr Clarkson, 64, as ‘the old man’ or ‘gorilla’.

Clarkson’s Farm is the most watched show on Amazon Prime in the UK with a third series recently released, and a fourth series already ordered. 

Jeremy Clarkson has become another surprise star in the East, with the former Top Gear presenter’s agricultural antics attracting millions of Chinese viewers and thousands of five-star reviews

Clarkson's Farm has been viewed more than five million times on the Chinese streaming service BiliBili, earning a 9.6 out of 10 rating on the review website Douban

Clarkson’s Farm has been viewed more than five million times on the Chinese streaming service BiliBili, earning a 9.6 out of 10 rating on the review website Douban

Alan Titchmarsh has become a huge hit with North Korean audiences since his show was first broadcast there in 2022 ¿ though certain elements, including his blue jeans he wore in one episode, have been blurred out by the state's censors

Alan Titchmarsh has become a huge hit with North Korean audiences since his show was first broadcast there in 2022 – though certain elements, including his blue jeans he wore in one episode, have been blurred out by the state’s censors 

The programme documents Mr Clarkson’s mishaps as he attempts to run his 1,000-acre (400 hectare) Diddly Squat farm near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire. 

Its Cotswolds location is thought to be a key factor in the show’s popularity. 

Thousands of Chinese visitors flock to the area each year, attracted by idyllic villages such as Bourton-on-the-Water – as well as Oxfordshire’s discount shopping at Bicester Village.

On Douban, more than 80 per cent of reviewers have given the show five stars. One Chinese viewer described Mr Clarkson as ‘a stupid old British man with too much money, who farmed for a year without harvesting anything’.

Another, who gave the show five stars, said: ‘A show about a gorilla who knows nothing about running a British farm.

‘Jeremy had a plan every day, Kaleb complained and helped him clean up his mess, Charlie always frowned and brought bad news and paperwork, and Gerald said nothing that could be understood.’

The programme documents Mr Clarkson's mishaps as he attempts to run his 1,000-acre (400 hectare) Diddly Squat farm near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire

The programme documents Mr Clarkson’s mishaps as he attempts to run his 1,000-acre (400 hectare) Diddly Squat farm near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire

While the show is named after the TV presenter, fans say the real star is farm worker Kaleb Cooper, 25 (left)

While the show is named after the TV presenter, fans say the real star is farm worker Kaleb Cooper, 25 (left)

Agricultural expert Charlie Ireland (right) tolerates Mr Clarkson's harebrained ideas

Agricultural expert Charlie Ireland (right) tolerates Mr Clarkson’s harebrained ideas

Clarkson's Farm season four will be filmed this year

Clarkson’s Farm season four will be filmed this year

The growing interest in country life among young Chinese urbanites has been put down to a trend of rural nostalgia, with most young Chinese never having worked on a farm, unlike previous generations

The growing interest in country life among young Chinese urbanites has been put down to a trend of rural nostalgia, with most young Chinese never having worked on a farm, unlike previous generations

While the show is named after the TV presenter, fans say the real stars are farm worker Kaleb Cooper, 25, and agricultural expert Charlie Ireland, who tolerate Mr Clarkson’s harebrained ideas. 

Local dry stone wall builder Gerald Cooper – often incomprehensible due to his strong West Country accent – is another fan favourite.

One Chinese reviewer said: ‘The most important thing is Jeremy, the idea king of Great Britain. The protagonist’s optimistic temperament can really infect people, even the audience sitting in front of the computer slurping noodles.’

The growing interest in country life among young Chinese urbanites has been put down to a trend of rural nostalgia, with most young Chinese never having worked on a farm, unlike previous generations.

Titchmarsh has become a huge hit with North Korean audiences since his show was first broadcast there in 2022 – though certain elements, including his blue jeans he wore in one episode, have been blurred out by the state’s censors.

Continue Reading