Jeremy Clarkson: Last Millionaire series featured some very stupid contestants

Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson
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Jeremy Clarkson has said he will be more polite to contestants in the new series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? after the first series featured "some very stupid contestants who didn't warrant any niceness".

The presenter will reprise hosting duties for a new series on January 1 after the game show was revived for a string of anniversary specials earlier this year, with Clarkson taking over the role previously filled by Chris Tarrant.

The seven-episode special, which aired over a week in May, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the show, which was presented by Tarrant from 1998 to 2014.

Discussing what will be different in the new series, Clarkson said: "I'm told I've been nicer to the contestants, but last year there were some very stupid contestants who didn't warrant any niceness.

"This time they've been - by and large, with one or two exceptions - sparky and on-it and bright and deserving of a place in the chair."

The previous series saw the introduction of the new lifeline Ask The Host, and Clarkson admits he was "almost entirely useless" at helping contestants.

He added: "To a certain extent, I've continued that tradition this time out.

"Occasionally I accidentally knew something, but not as often as I would have liked.

"It's so annoying, because sometimes, you'll get to the £125,000 question and you go, I know this. But they've already asked you and used the lifeline on something like the Kardashians that you don't know."

He continued: "The only way that you can prepare for this show is to learn the Internet, and nobody can do that."

Clarkson said his ideal question would be about Genesis albums or birds, adding: "It's one of those little things that not a lot of people know, I know not very much but I know a little bit about birds.

"I know a ptarmigan from an osprey, a yellowhammer from a reed warbler. I know how to tell a cold tit from a blue tit, which most people don't know. But now I've said that, people will ask me bird questions and I won't know the answer."

Clarkson said his Grand Tour co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond have offered him some practical advice for the second series.

He said: "They have actually (offered advice): 'Get a f***ing hearing aid. And glasses. Get a hearing aid and some glasses, you old idiot.'"

- Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? returns on January 1 at 9pm and continues nightly until January 6.