The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and The Grand Tour host sparked controversy earlier this week when he said he didn’t ‘get the Thunberg phenomenon’ saying she deserved a ‘smacked bottom’ for being ‘mardy and abusive to grown ups.’
But the TV presenter says he stands by his comments about the 18-year-old environmentalist and in a fresh assault, called her “an annoying little bucket of ego.”
In his weekly column for The Sun, he said that in years to come, the activist will be driving ‘a gas guzzler car like the rest of us’ and ‘turning on her central heating.”
He said: “It seems I’ve been in a spot of bother this week for daring to suggest that Greta Thunberg is an annoying little bucket of ego who needs a smacked bottom.
“But the thing is, when I was a kid, and I was mardy and bad-mannered and rude my dad would smack my bottom. And I learned quite quickly to stop it.
“So I stand by what I said. She’s a petulant little brat who cannot possibly know what she’s talking about because she’s young and she seems to have spent most of her school life outside the classroom, protesting about something or other, rather than in it, learning stuff. So yes. Someone needs to smack her bottom and send her to her room.
2Of course, in time, she’ll grow up and pack it in. Twenty or 30 years from now, when she needs to pick her kids up from school, and she’s got to get to the hairdressers by five, and it’s raining, she’ll leap into the Volvo just like the rest of us.
And when she gets home and it’s cold, she’s going to turn the central heating up a bit and throw another lump of coal on the fire.
“The same thing happened to all those angry rock stars from the Seventies.
There they all were screaming and bellowing about the Vietnam War and the Tories and the need for greater equality.
And where are they now? Driving their Range Rovers round their trout lakes, that’s where.
Take Neil Young as a classic case in point. Back when I was ten, he wrote an eco song called After The Gold Rush, which contained the line “Look at mother nature on the run in the 1970s”.
“It was very successful. So successful that he used the proceeds to buy a huge collection of American V8 muscle cars.
“Eventually, guilt got the better of him and he had one, a Lincoln Continental, converted to run on batteries. But then one day, while it was being charged up, it caught fire and started a blaze so massive that it destroyed half a million pounds worth of musical memorabilia.
“Let’s hope the same thing doesn’t happen to Greta when she grows up. That her nuclear-free vegan peace Aga doesn’t explode, destroying her collection of “I went to COP26” T-shirts.”