The day I turned down Jeremy Clarkson

It’s something many Guardian readers would like to have done, the opportunity of casting Jeremy Clarkson out into a snowy night.

Imagine the scene: It is a cold night with snow flurries being blown horizontally across Shepherds Bush Green and I get a booking on my screen.

Bill Nighy wants picking up in Notting Hill Gate and taken to his flat in the West End. No problem, I rather like Bill, always willing to chat during the journey, so I hit the accept button which tells the customer I’m just minutes away.

Slightly in awe of picking up a famous face, I forget to turn off my ‘For Hire’ light.

Travelling around the Water Tower roundabout and pulling up at the traffic lights opposite the Kensington Hilton Hotel, I see a familiar face, head lowered trying to get some protection from the enduring blizzard.

It’s Jeremy Clarkson: “Can you take me to…?” he asks in that familiar authoritative voice.

“Sorry Jeremy, I’m booked.” The crestfallen TV star goes off into the night in search of another cab.

Minutes later I relate the incident to Bill Nighy, who finds it really funny that the right-wing icon has been turned down for this left-wing liberal.

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