BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ Drops Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson

Top-rating show ‘Top Gear’ isn’t having Jeremy Clarkson back. Following an incident with his producer a couple of weeks ago, BBC has decided it will no longer renew the presenter’s contract.

As reported on BBC, Clarkson’s suspension last March 10, after the network learned that he physically attacked his producer over an argument with the catering, will be a permanent one.

At the height of this controversy, “Top Gear” was pulled off its Sunday schedule and the BBC launched an interim investigation into the incident. The findings indicated that the producer involved, one Oisin Tymon, suffered “swelling and bleeding lips” as well as verbal abuse from the show’s host, who is known for his outspoken candor. Tymon also thought that his job was threatened following the incident.

While there were no formal complaints filed by Tymon, it was Clarkson who reported the incident to the BBC bosses several days after it happened. At that time, the executives thought the most prudent thing to do was to suspend Clarkson and follow through with an investigation.

The announcement of the suspension has riled up fans all over the world, calling on BBC to bring back Clarkson and “Top Gear” on air.

The decision to finally end Clarkson’s contract and stint with “Top Gear” was announced by BBC’s Director-General, Tony Hall, in a statement that underlined the reasons.

First – The BBC is a broad church. Our strength in many ways lies in that diversity. We need distinctive and different voices but they cannot come at any price. Common to all at the BBC have to be standards of decency and respect. I cannot condone what has happened on this occasion. A member of staff – who is a completely innocent party – took himself to Accident and Emergency after a physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature. For me a line has been crossed. There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial considerations.

Second – This has obviously been difficult for everyone involved but in particular for Oisin. I want to make clear that no blame attaches to him for this incident. He has behaved with huge integrity throughout. As a senior producer at the BBC he will continue to have an important role within the organisation in the future.

Third – Obviously none of us wanted to find ourselves in this position. This decision should in no way detract from the extraordinary contribution that Jeremy Clarkson has made to the BBC. I have always personally been a great fan of his work and Top Gear. Jeremy is a huge talent. He may be leaving the BBC but I am sure he will continue to entertain, challenge and amuse audiences for many years to come.

The full statement may be found here.