Jeremy Clarkson admits he got used to being hated long ago, yet he insists his reputation for being offensively outrageous is unjustified.
Speaking at the London launch of his latest Amazon film The Grand Tour Presents - Seaman, the brash frontman who was sacked from his job on BBC's Top Gear after he punched a producer in 2015 has opened up on a career that has been marred by a host of high profile media storms.
He argues that his reputation for causing offense may not be entirely justified, as he believes his past indiscretions have left him an image that he has struggled to rebuild.
"There are a lot of people out there who want me to disappear, that much is clear," Clarkson told us. "Some people hate my guts, but what can I do? These people don't want me to go away, grow up or stop making television. No, they want me to die and never to be seen again.
"Sometimes I do interviews with journalists and you can sense the animosity. The snowflakes out there, you feel them injecting their hate into me, but what can you do? I was told the other day that I exude toxic masculinity by someone from the Independent in the UK. I wasn't aware of that quality in me, but it is something I will look out for from now on!
"Am I controversial? Only for people who are looking to be offended and I always refer to the Mail Online headline of 'sparking fury' when I say something that people don't like.
"When you have a reputation for something, then every single thing you do shores up that reputation whether it is justified or not. Prince Andrew is experiencing this phenomenon right now, where everything he has ever done in his life is terrible and horrendous, but that isn't the reality if people step back and take a wider view.
"I haven't caused too much offense of late, so I guess there is an argument to say I'm getting a little less offensive as we get older. We certainly seem to be causing less 'fury' then we used to, but that may be because people have moved on to someone else are more willing to be offended by them."
As the host of the world's highest-profile car show for two decades, Clarkson's insistence that gas-guzzling vehicles are not to blame for global warming have seen him cast as one of the outspoken opponents of climate change.
Yet he was happy to acknowledge the impact of climate change in his latest Grand Tour special, as he takes long-time travel companions Richard Hammond and James May to Cambodia and Vietnam for a boat trip interrupted by a lack of water.
"We were filming on what should be a river, with houses that are on stilts to lift them out of water that simply isn't there and they are all starving because they are struggling to get food, so what can you do? That is global warming. You can't just ignore it," he states.
"I know climate change exists, of course I do. I'm not a climate change denier, we just don't see it every day in London. When it confronts you, I recognise it. Sadly, I'm not very gullible and when I read a report about climate change, my first question is: Who paid for that?
"Anyway, I have enough debates about this topic at home to ensure I don't need to have anymore when I venture out. Maybe that's why I decide not to talk about it too much.
"My daughter is an enthusiastic fan of Ms Greta Thunberg and she's also a vegan. However, rather than suggest she is terrible, I say she is fun to talk to. We might have different views, but we can have spirited debates.
"This is a generational thing. My father used to look at me when I was her age and question what I was wearing, express bemusement at the music I was listening to and ask what the hell is the world coming to. This is just the next generation making their way and good luck to them. It will be their world very soon and they have to live it the way they want to."
With The Grand Tour proving to be such a success for Clarkson and his new broadcast partners at Amazon, he admits he has never felt the need to catch a glimpse of the reworked Top Gear, that has seen plenty of presenters come and go in recent years.
"I never watch it, never have done since we left," he states of his former BBC show. "I put it like this: You know when you have your baby taken away by social services, you hope they are looking after it, but you don't want to look through the window every night. That's how I feel about it. The show is theirs to manage how they see fit now, so good luck to them."
The latest on-screen adventure for Clarkson, Hammond and May had the potential to end in disaster, as they swapped their familiar mode of transport for boats and took on treacherous waters that claimed the lives of some locals amid a fierce storm on the day they were filming.
"It looks scary in the final scenes of this film and I'm not going to deny it was horrible and very uncomfortable sailing in a storm that killed four fishermen in the sea we were in that day, I always felt my boat would stand up to the battering," adds Clarkson.
"The same may not have been the case for Hammond and May. They are not the nautical types and genuinely feared that this might be the occasion when we took things a step too far.
"I was more worried for the cameramen than those two, if I'm being honest. When we heard later that some fishermen right next to where we were filming lost their lives in the storm that day, it suggested we were in a little more peril than we wanted to believe. However, it also makes for great television!"
The Grand Tour presents Seaman is available now on Amazon Prime Video.
By Kevin Palmer @RealKevinPalmer
Tagged in Jeremy Clarkson