ITV boss Kevin Lygo said Jeremy Clarkson’s comments about the Duchess of Sussex were “awful” but “at the moment” the broadcaster plans to keep him as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
In a recent column for The Sun newspaper, Clarkson, 62, said he feels “hate” for Meghan and dreams of seeing her publicly humiliated.
Speaking at a Broadcasting Press Guild event in London on Tuesday, Mr Lygo, managing director of ITV Studios, said: “I would say what he writes in a newspaper column… We have no control over what he says.
“We hire him as a consummate broadcaster of the most famous quiz on television, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
“So it’s not quite in our wheelhouse but I don’t know what he was thinking when he wrote that. It was awful.”
Asked if ITV will keep Clarkson as host of the quiz show, a position he inherited from Chris Tarrant in 2018, Mr Lygo said: “Yes, at the moment we are.”
Asked if Clarkson represents ITV’s values, Mr Lygo replied: “No, of course he doesn’t in that instance.”
On Monday, Clarkson responded to the controversy, writing on Twitter: “Oh dear. I’ve rather put my foot in it.
“In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people.
“I’m horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future.”
The piece was removed from The Sun’s website on Monday at Clarkson’s request.
On Tuesday morning, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) said Clarkson’s newspaper column has become its most complained about article.