Jeremy Clarkson has revealed that he battled COVID-19 over Christmas and feared that he would ‘die on my own’ from it.
The presenter, 60, wrote about his health scare in his latest article for The Sunday Times, sharing that he began to feel unwell four days before Christmas.
Clarkson said that after Googling his symptoms, he eventually got tested for coronavirus where it came back positive.
‘The doctor was very clear,’ the presenter recalled in his column. ‘I’d feel under the weather for between five and 14 days and then I’d either get better or I’d have to go to hospital.
‘Where, because I am 60 and fat, and because I’ve smoked half a million cigarettes and had double pneumonia, I’d probably die, on my own, in a lonely plastic tent.’
Detailing what happened, Clarkson explained he woke up drenched in sweat, suffered a persistent dry cough and went into isolation.
After batting off questions from friends about who could have given him the virus, Clarkson explained that he took himself off to bed with ‘the new Don Winslow book and a bag of kale’ and waited ‘for the Grim Reaper to pop his head round the door’.
The Grand Tour host went on to explain that he was isolating in a small cottage with his girlfriend Lisa Hogan, 46, and her children, and felt unclear about who he was allowed to have any contact with, adding: ‘I’m not going to lie — it was quite scary!’
He went on: ‘With every illness I’ve had, there has always been a sense that medicine and time would eventually ride to the rescue, but with COVID-19 you have to lie there, on your own, knowing that medicine is not on its way and that time is your worst enemy.’
Jeremy’s children – Emily, Katya and Finlo, from his marriage to second wife Frances Cain – visited him on Christmas Day for 40 minutes and shared a glass of champagne with him at a distance in the garden (under Tier 2 rules).
He recalled that no-one knew how safe this actually was and added in the article that despite people claiming to know a ‘great deal about COVID, we don’t’, the presenter also admitted that he has ‘absolutely no idea’ if he is even ‘better now’.
Clarkson hinted he had suspected coronavirus two weeks ago, posting a snap of a COVID antigen test to Instagram.
He was seen over the Autumn filming new episodes of his Amazon Prime motoring show The Grand Tour, but the crew were sticking to strict safety measures.
He was snapped on location in Scotland in September, social distancing and wearing a face mask. He also took a selfie on a plane with his co-star Richard Hammond and producer Andy Wilman in October, all wearing masks.
That same month, he was seen struggling to eat a fry-up with co-host James May during a break from filming, using disposable cutlery.
He branded an Instagram clip ‘COVID cutlery’, seen in the video having issues slicing up bacon.
Clarkson’s revelation comes after comedian John Bishop, 54, revealed that he has been battling coronavirus with his wife Melanie.
Earlier this week, the star assured fans he is ‘getting a little stronger’ amid his COVID-19 battle and vowed to return to work next month.
Bishop also took to social media on Wednesday to share a picture of the NHS notification informing him he had tested positive for the virus, describing the infection as ‘the worst illness I have ever had’.
The following day, on New Year’s Eve, John, whose wife Melanie is also battling the virus, took to Twitter to thank fans for their ‘overwhelming’ support and confirm: ‘Every day we are getting a little stronger’.
In his update message, a touched John penned: ‘Thank you for all the messages of support regarding my recent positive Covid test…
‘I have been overwhelmed and moved by the amount of messages privately and publicly. Every day we are getting a little stronger and I will be back at work in Jan. Keep safe and Happy New Year John x’.
The previous day, he announced he is battling coronavirus after testing positive alongside Melanie over the Christmas period.
With the screenshot from the NHS, he penned: ‘This came through on Christmas Day. This is the worst illness I have ever had, debilitating headaches, muscle joint and even skin pain, dizziness, nausea, no appetite, incredibly chronic fatigue’.
John, who revealed last year that he has shadows on his lungs, added that both he and Melanie are not considered to be vulnerable, concluding: ‘My wife and I are fit non smokers and it’s flattened us. I don’t wish this on anyone’.