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Clarkson Punches Way to Top

Clarkson Punches Way to Top

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Clarkson the most searched Director

  • Jeremy Clarkson named the UK’s most searched company director after founding three ‘Chump’ companies following his BBC ‘fracas’
  • Dawn Ward from the ‘Real housewives of Cheshire’ and Baroness Mone, the founder of Ultimo, are the only women to appear in the top 10

New analysis published by Creditsafe, the world’s most used provider of online company credit reports, reveals Jeremy Clarkson, infamous ex presenter of BBC’s ‘Top Gear’, was the most searched* for company director on the Creditsafe system in the last 12 months. Clarkson, who hit the headlines in March following a fracas with a producer over steak, had people scrambling to learn more about his financial acumen after being axed from the hit TV show.  

Clarkson is a listed director of the humorously named Chump Holdings Limited, Chump Productions Limited and W Chump & Sons Limited.  The other directors of the companies are listed as James May, Richard Hammond and Andrew Wilman (Wilman is best known as the former executive producer of Top Gear).  The firms were all formed in July this year just months after Clarkson was unceremoniously fired following a "fracas" with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon. 

Michael Ashley, the British tycoon who started Sports Direct after leaving school in 1982 and who became a billionaire after the company went public, is a new entry at number nine in the most searched list.  After spending most of December in the news for all the wrong reasons, Mr Ashley is set to be called in front of the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) select committee to discuss working practices following an undercover investigation.  

Dawn Ward, the reality TV star from the ‘Real housewives of Cheshire’ and Baroness Michelle Mone, the founder of Ultimo, are the only women to appear in the top 10. Dawn Ward is a director of Bilton Ward Developments Limited, a construction business.  Despite reports that Dawn put her house on the market for £14.5 million this year, not all her financial dealings seem so glamorous as her company has been served with three County Court Judgments (CCJs) totalling £24,944.  She also hit the headlines this year after being accused of assaulting 80s pop singer Sinitta at a Belgravia sushi restaurant.  

Michelle is one of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs and is best known for developing the Ultimo Bra.  She now heads up Ubeauty Global Limited the company behind the fake tan brand Utan.  Earlier this year her profile was raised significantly when she was somewhat controversially unveiled as a ‘government tsar’ with a remit to encourage business start-ups in disadvantaged areas.

Table: top 10 most searched for directors in 2015 comparison

Rank Forename Surname
1  Jeremy  Clarkson
2 Fozlul  Haque 
3 Russell  Blaikie 
4 Peter  Jones 
5 Alan  Sugar 
6 Russell  Wade 
7 Raymond  Read 
8 Dawn  Ward 
9 Micheal  Ashley 
10 Michelle  Mone 

Source: Creditsafe 2015

Rachel Mainwaring, Operations Director, Creditsafe UK said: “Jeremy Clarkson may have made headlines for all the wrong reason this year, but he is a shrewd businessman who recognises the worth of his brand.  A television production for Amazon combined with licensing and merchandising will undoubtedly earn him and his fellow director friends huge sums.”

Regular fixtures in Creditsafe’s “most searched” list Peter Jones and Lord Sugar retain their positions in the top 10 once again.  New entries include Russell Blaikie who oversaw a pre-pack deal to try and save Statestrong Products, a North West manufacturer of aerosols, bottles and tubs in 2014 which entered administration again in October this year.

Notes to Editors

* Creditsafe analysed its UK database of over six million active companies and over seven million directors in December 2015 to establish the most searched for enterprises and individuals by its 35,000 UK customers during 2015.

Creditsafe Group

The Creditsafe Group is the world’s most used supplier of company business intelligence with 10 Creditsafe Group reports downloaded every second.

Privately owned and independently minded Creditsafe is looking to change the way business information is used by providing high quality data in an easy to use format that allows everyone in an organisation can benefit from.

Launched in Norway in 1997, Creditsafe has offices in the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and the USA employing over 1000 people and has more than 85,000 subscription customers, across the group.

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