Lock died of cancer at the age of 58 on 16 August, but he was brought up by Clarkson on last night's show when he introduced Lock's 8 Out of 10 Cats co-star Jimmy Carr as a contestant.
As Carr received a round of applause from the studio audience, Clarkson said: "The audience aren't clapping for you Jimmy Carr, because they were promised Sean Lock."
To be fair, it's perhaps the type of joke that Lock would have liked, but that didn't stop viewers from being wounded by it.
One said: "Well done ITV. It's very sensitive of you to include a joke about the late Sean Lock not being able to appear on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"
Another said: "That Sean Lock joke aged badly hasn't it?"
A third wrote: "Did Clarkson really just say 'they were promised Sean Lock' to Jimmy Carr on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?! Crass as f***!"
As we've pointed out, not everyone feels that the joke was in poor taste.
One person commented: "Whether it was filmed before or after his death (I think it's the latter) the point is Sean would have found it funny and Jimmy would know that, hence why it wasn't edited out!"
Another said: "As I've said elsewhere, Sean would have found that hilarious!"
LADbible has contacted ITV for a comment.
Anyway, it didn't go that well for Jimmy in the end, as he answered a question about the land speed record wrong and lost £31,000 on the £64,000 question.
Was this filmed before Sean Lock died cos like :grimacing: #WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire
- Slapstick Sally (@SlapstickSally) November 17, 2021
Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire including Clarkson making a joke about Sean Lock is absolutely careless. Can't believe they aired that.
- Nick Walker (@nickw84) November 17, 2021
Pretty sure Sean Lock would have wanted it left it anyway. Probs filmed before he died.
- Andy :sunglasses: (@AndyB2708) November 17, 2021
Still, it's worth remembering the touching tribute that Carr paid to his late mate Lock after the announcement of his untimely death.
Carr tweeted: "Brutal news about Sean Lock today.
"I loved him. I'm watching clips of him right now - laughing & crying. I'll miss him so much."
Reacting to the on-screen rapport between the pair, Carr once said: "After he died I looked back and went: 'Hang on - was I in a double act?' We did 250 TV shows together and I sort of didn't notice.
The comedian continued: "I mean, I don't think he'd view me as a comedy partner. He'd say: 'Get over yourself - I'm much funnier.'"
Despite that, he also made mention of how Lock helped him out when he was being publicly lambasted - quite rightly - for his well-publicised tax avoidance scandal.
Carr said: "When that's happening to you, you never forget the people who were good to you.
"And he was so good to me. He said: 'Are you OK? All right, we'll handle this.' And then he went out there, was super-funny about it, no judgment."