Jeremy Clarkson’s mother speaks out on ME

Over the past two Sundays, The Sunday Times has published two fascinating extracts from Bearly Believable: My Part in the Paddington Bear Story by Shirley Clarkson, to be published by Harriman House on 23 June.

Shirley Clarkson is Jeremy Clarkson’s mum.  Shirley developed and marketed the duffle coated Paddington Bear stuffed toy.

In today’s extract, Mrs Clarkson makes a brief reference to Jeremy’s sister Joanna who has suffered from ME.

Shirley writes:

“Jeremy was wreaking havoc at Repton, his school; and Joanna was home with her third bout of ME, sitting in a chair staring into space, hardly having the energy to breathe. (Don’t ever let anyone tell you that ME is all in the mind. It’s real, it’s debilitating and it’s frightening.)”

You can read today’s extract from Bearly Believable: My Part in the Paddington Bear Story here

and last week’s extract here.


I am very fond of duffle coats and marmalade.  I still have the duffle coat my mother bought me for school when I was 11.  I didn’t grow very much taller after that and was still wearing the same duffle coat when I left art school, in 1973.  I could still wear it today – it appears to be indestructable but duffle coats evidently stunt your growth.


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