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Jeremy Clarkson had 'head dislodged from spine' during brutal Top Gear stunt

Niamh Shackleton

| Last updated 

Jeremy Clarkson had 'head dislodged from spine' during brutal Top Gear stunt

When it comes to injuries sustained by previous Top Gear hosts, Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson have all had their fair share over the years.

Clarkson, May and Hammond presented the BBC programme together for 13 years, and have performed an array of epic stunts between them.

From caravan crushing to racing double-decker buses, there was little that they wouldn't do.



But their dare-devilish ways came with its downsides and could sometimes result in some nasty injuries.

The topic has been discussed at great length in recent months, in the wake of Freddie Flintoff's horrific crash back in December 2022 that saw the ex-cricketer airlifted to hospital.

Flintoff's son later said in an interview that his dad was 'lucky to be alive'.

Rewind back to 2008, and Clarkson put himself in the shoes of a truck driver to 'see how difficult it was'.


As part of the task, he had to drive a Renault Magnum truck into a brick wall (because that's something you see truck drivers do all the time...).

The stunt saw now-63-year-old Clarkson sustain serious injuries, including his 'head being dislodged from [his] spine'.

"My ankle burst where the clutch pedal went through the wall," he said later in the episode.

"And my head was dislodged from my spine due to the impact."

The former Top Gear was left with serious injuries. Credits: BBC
The former Top Gear was left with serious injuries. Credits: BBC

He also suffered heavy bruising to his back and shin, with an index finger that looked like a 'burst sausage'.

Issuing a statement at the time, a Top Gear spokesperson said: "Before the stunt was carried out a full health and safety assessment was carried out."

They also added that Clarkson 'made a full recovery'.


The Clarkson's Farm star later shared further details about the ordeal and said that it left him in 'agony'.

At the time, he told The Sun: "I emerged from my high speed head-on impact in what can only be described as screaming agony. I couldn't walk. I couldn't talk. I couldn't think."

During his 13-year Top Gear stint, Clarkson also broke his thumb and slipped two discs in his spine in two separate incidents.

Earlier this year, a former Top Gear car builder claimed that the show would do 'all kinds of crooked s**t'.

Clarkson said he 'couldn't walk' after the crash. Credits: BBC
Clarkson said he 'couldn't walk' after the crash. Credits: BBC

Back in May, John Hennessey said on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast: "They just want eyeballs, so the more controversial you know.

"One time with Jeremy was driving this truck and they were like 'what would happen if we ran into a brick wall?'.

"You're gonna go to the hospital and get broken ribs."

"They'll do anything," he added.

As to why Clarkson agreed to do the questionable stunt, Hennessey claimed he would do anything 'for attention'.

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Featured Image Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images/BBC

Topics: Top Gear, TV and Film, Jeremy Clarkson

Niamh Shackleton
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