Clarkson offered landlady £1m for pub within minutes of meeting her

Updated
Jeremy Clarkson drinking a pint of beer
Jeremy Clarkson drinking a pint of beer - The Grand Tour

Jeremy Clarkson offered almost £1 million to the owner of a pub within minutes of meeting her.

The former Top Gear presenter, 64, has been developing his Cotswold smallholding for the popular Amazon series Clarkson’s Farm.

Keen to find a pub to sell his produce, Clarkson arranged to meet with the landlady of The Windmill near Burford in Oxfordshire, and is said to have offered her a vast sum over a coffee.

The pub is nestled deep in the Cotswold countryside and boasts of views across the Windrush Valley, as well as being just 10 miles from the presenter’s Diddly Squat Farm.

Set on five acres of its own land, the presenter hopes to transform the venue into a pub that will only serve British produce, and offer farmers a free pint.

Publican Jackie Walker, 79, had been invited to Diddly Squat to discuss the terms of a potential deal for The Windmill.

The Windmill in Asthall, on five acres of countryside near Burford, Oxon
The Windmill in Asthall, on five acres of countryside near Burford, Oxon - Emma Trimble/SWNS

She told MailOnline: “A film crew had come into the pub and the next thing I knew someone with Clarkson knocked on the door and asked if I was interested in selling.”

Mrs Walker, who opened the rural pub with her late husband Alan in 1983, visited Clarkson’s home near the village of Chadlington to discuss terms over a coffee.

She said: “The first thing Jeremy said to me was I suppose you want a lot of money for this.”

It has been reported that almost £1 million was offered almost immediately, and Mrs Walker accepted. Clarkson has secured the freedom of the pub, which is not affiliated with a brewery, meaning he can sell his own beer on site.

Mrs Walker said: “It did make me laugh, but that is Jeremy Clarkson.” She said she had not been planning to sell the place, but wasn’t that happy with how it was being run, adding “I am not getting any younger.”

“I assume he will make a TV series out of it. I really do hope that he can make a big success of the place and restore it back to how it was. My husband and I had so much fun running it.”

Clarkson plans to make this a 'British produce' Cotswolds pub
Clarkson plans to make this a 'British produce' Cotswolds pub - Emma Trimble/SWNS

Clarkson has been seeking a pub as a venue to market his own products, including his Hawkstone ale.

Renovation work on The Windmill, which Clarkson described as “full of dead rats” with lavatories that are “illegal”, has begun.

Mrs Walker, who stepped back from the day-to-day running of the pub when her husband died 11 years ago and allowed leaseholders to step in, said she hopes Clarkson can make the pub as successful as it was in its early days, when it was popular with locals and tourists.

She said the pub was often “packed” in its early days and known for good food.

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