Chumbawamba snub £30,000 offer to soundtrack trailer for new Jeremy Clarkson show, to fans' delight

Chumbawamba plus Jeremy Clarkson
(Image credit: Chumbawamba - Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images / Jeremy Clarkson - Nick England/Getty Images)

Burnley/Leeds anarcho-punks Chumbawamba, best known for their 1997 hit single Tubthumping, have revealed that they turned down an offer of £30,000 to let their music be used in a promo trailer for a new TV show fronted by controversial presenter/right wing newspaper columnist Jeremy Clarkson.

Inactive since 2012, the band's decision to turn down the lucrative offer was revealed on Twitter by former guitarist Boff Whalley, who wrote, "today we turned down £30,000 for our song to be used for a trailer for Jeremy Clarkson’s new TV series. I can’t tell you how much satisfaction that gave us."

Clarkson, best known as the former host of Top Gear, recently drew criticism from his own daughter after writing a Sun newspaper column which, referencing a scene from fantasy drama Game Of Thrones, said that he is "dreaming of the day" when Meghan Markle is "made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant 'Shame!' and throw lumps of excrement at her": after much criticism The Sun issued an apology for the column.

Whalley did not reveal which Chumbawamba song Clarkson's producers wished to use, but it's a fairly safe bet to say that it was Tubthumping, a song which peaked at number 2 in the UK charts and propelled its parent album Tubthumper to over 3 million sales in the US alone, as opposed to say, British Colonialism and the BBC from the band's 1986 debut album Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records, or indeed Happiness Is Just A Chant Away from 1992's Shhh, which celebrates Essex-born police killer Harry Roberts. Though we could be wrong.

Responses to Whalley's Twitter post, which has been viewed 5 million times, were largely supportive of Chumbawamba's decision. 

"That's a life-changing sum for us songwriters, but I'd have done the same," replied singer/songwriter Emma Flowers. "Massive kudos to you."

"You Are My Heroes" tweeted radio presenter Shaun Keaveny, while Dr Brooke Magnanti, best known for her hugely successful memoir The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl written under the pseudonym Belle De Jour, tweeted "Hats off to a real one."

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Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.