28 January 2015

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Before he was famous: Jeremy Clarkson as cub reporter

A retiring weekly editor’s search through the picture archives resulted in the discovery of a lost gem.

For the lanky young reporter at the back of this Rotherham Advertiser team shot from the early 1980s is none other than Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

The picture came to light as long-serving editor Doug Melloy was looking for some pictures from his early days at the paper to accompany a magazine feature.

Doug is bowing out as Advertiser editor next month after 26 years in charge.

  • Do you recognise anyone else in the picture?  Add the names in the comments below.


  1. Shutter-up-yer-face, Mars

    Is that The Stig (front row, left)?

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  2. tide-timez

    Why’s Jezza wearing a bearskin? Didn’t know he’d joined a Guards regiment… Is that his Sunday Times mate AA Gill on his left?

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  3. Old Sub

    Looks like a young Kenneth Clarke (back row, third left). Sorry, not being helpful, are we!

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  4. Simon Pegg

    Actor Nick Frost is second on the right of Jezza

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  5. Mr Cooley

    Blimey, it’s like Shaun of the Dead!

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  6. muddy waters, Staffordshire

    front row second from the right is definitely ‘Whispering Bob Harris”

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  7. Jethro, Somerset

    Whispering Bob Harris (fronf, second from the right)

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  8. Sly Dig

    Alan Whicker, second left Back row

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  9. Mr Cooley

    Susan Boyle and Dennis Nilsen, far right

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  10. Orpheus

    In front of Clarkson is former BBC newsreader Richard Whitmore. Kneeling front right is Nigel Pivaro (Terry Duckworth out of Coronation Street).

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  11. Sue Nelson

    Whispering Bob Harris it is not. It’s Ralph Pitman who used to live in our village near York. He now lives Halifax way

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  12. Tab Lloyd

    Jeremy who?

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  13. Watcher

    Wilf Lunn – back row, third from right?

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  14. Pat Edwards, sutton, surrey

    Is that Noel Edmonds at the front?

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  15. MR C

    Is that Steve Wright, third from the right? Maybe this is his original ‘posse’.

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  16. Capt. Starlight

    I wonder what became of the others in the pic? Some look just a little strange – but I suppose I looked like that at that time.

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  17. Keith Higginbottom, Sheffield

    OK here goes, in best caption-writing tradition, from the left, standing: John Dodds; Harold Sewell; Peter Gascoigne; Mark Whiting; famous person; Paul Allonby; Phil Morris; yours truly, John Foster; Guy Morgan, Dorothy Kirby.Front row: Chris Turner, Vicky Lloyd, Ralph Pitman, Phil Coulson. I would hazard a guess that the pic was taken by Sally Foster and that the sports editor of the day, Les Payne, and Jan Sadler are the other absentees. Best guess on a date for this would be summer 1981, well before Melloy’s arrival. Peter Gascoigne was editor at the time and it fell to Ralph Pitman and myself to “manage” Clarkson through the daily grind of local news output. It was a colourful newsroom to say the least and even then it was clear we were dealing with a larger than life character!

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  18. Steve Dyson

    Great detail!

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  19. Miss McDoogle

    I think this is the best thing I have read today.

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