Jeremy Clarkson once named corner on Top Gear track after Sir Michael Gambon
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Jeremy Clarkson has revealed that the Top Gear crew named a corner of their track after Harry Potter star Sir Michael Gambon.
Clarkson made the revelation as he paid tribute to Gambon, who played Dumbledore in the final six films of the Harry Potter series, after his family confirmed that he had passed away at the age of 82.
In a statement released today (28 September), the family said they were 'devastated' at the loss of the 'beloved husband and father'.
"Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia. Michael was 82," the statement said.
“We ask that you respect our privacy at this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love.”
Gambon is recognisable to film fans across the globe thanks to his extensive career, which spanned more than 50 years.
As a result, caring fans have been quick to pay tribute to the actor, with Clarkson leading the way as he took to Twitter to share his sadness over the loss.
"I’m so sad to hear that Michael Gambon has died," the Clarkson's Farm host wrote. "He was hugely amusing, and such a tremendous guest, we even named a corner after him."
Gambon appeared on Top Gear in 2009, when Clarkson was still hosting the show alongside Richard Hammond and James May.
His appearance as a 'star in a reasonably priced car' came in the same year that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince arrived in theatres, and saw him sit down with Clarkson to chat about films, cars and his lap around the Top Gear track.
Gambon didn't have the smoothest journey around the track, at one point careering off it altogether, but it proved iconic enough for the team to name a corner after him.
Fans of the show have described Gambon's appearance as a 'piece of Top Gear history', with one writing: "Rest in Peace Mr. Gambon… you made the track what it was and though it and you are gone the memories will never leave us."
Other tributes to Gambon describe him as a 'tremendous actor' and 'one of the brightest lights of our childhood'.
Gambon earned his first acting credits in the 1960s, after which he went on to appear in a number of popular titles including The King's Speech, Paddington and Johnny English Strikes Again.
He first appeared as Dumbledore in 2004, when he replaced original actor Richard Harris, who died in 2002.