'Dinner at four in the morning:' Jeremy Clarkson's Doncaster power cut hell as fresh crisis looms

Outspoken Doncaster TV star Jeremy Clarkson says his family ate dinner at ‘four in the morning’ and ran their TV set off a car battery during power cuts in the 1970s, as the presenter warned of a fresh UK energy crisis.
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With Britain gripped by petrol panic buying and rising gas prices, The Grand Tour and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host fears the country could soon be seeing a return to power cuts which were commonplace across the country in the 1970s.

And in his usual forthright style, the Burghwallis-born star has revealed how his own family coped in Doncaster more than four decades ago.

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He said: "I’m old enough to remember what happened the last time we had power cuts in 1974 and it wasn’t all bad.

Jeremy Clarkson says power cuts in the 1970s in Doncaster were a laugh.Jeremy Clarkson says power cuts in the 1970s in Doncaster were a laugh.
Jeremy Clarkson says power cuts in the 1970s in Doncaster were a laugh.

“Every week, the Doncaster Evening Post would provide a list of times when each village would lose power and we’d pin it to the back of a kitchen cupboard door and use it to plan our lives.

“We’d sometimes have dinner at four in the morning and breakfast in the middle of the afternoon, and in between, there was much to think about.

“Did we have enough   candles? Have we got some batteries for the torch? Is there some coal for the fire?

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“My job every day was to remove the battery from my dad’s Cortina, which we’d then use to power a small black and white television.

“And then put it back when the lights came on again.

“They were happy times. Good, family times. Like those early days of lockdown, only with added darkness.”

Clarkson said “anyone with half a brain” could have seen the latest crisis coming and added: “So, the cable that brings electricity from France to England has burned out, the price of gas has more than doubled and our ­precious wind ­turbines are sitting in the North Sea, as lifeless and limp as an old man’s todger, because there is no wind.

“Ordinarily, we’d simply crank up the coal-fired power stations, but they have been closed down so that Boris can achieve his goal of being carbon neutral.

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“And we haven’t even built our new nuclear power station yet because the few eco-loons who aren’t currently glued to the M25 are running about on the ­proposed site finding voles.

“We’re told that power cuts are not on the cards. But I wouldn’t be so sure about that.

“And I wouldn’t really mind either because, truth be told, they were a laugh.

“Obviously, today, you wouldn’t have a wi-fi router and you wouldn’t be able to charge your phone or your laptop.

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“Or your car, come to think of it, which means you wouldn’t be able to visit friends who do have power.

“Nor would you be able to go to work because the credit card readers wouldn’t work, or the tills, or the shop floor robots, or the barcode scanners, or your desktop computer.

“Or any of the equipment used by doctors.

“This time, I shall probably be even happier because I’ll know the whole country will be full of sullen kids, staring at their dead phones and thinking, “Well, if this is what it’s like to be carbon neutral, can we open the coal mines again?”