Jeremy Clarkson ‘crossed the line’
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Jeremy Clarkson “crossed a line” when he launched a physical and verbal attack on a producer, according to the BBC director general Tony Hall.
The ‘Top Gear’ host will not have his contract renewed when his current one expires at the end of the month after an inquiry into an incident that took place between him and producer Oisin Tymon – in which Clarkson was alleged to have punched him in a row over a steak – earlier this month found that his behaviour had been unacceptable.
Hall said in a statement: “It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract. It is not a decision I have taken lightly. I have done so only after a very careful consideration of the facts and after personally meeting both Jeremy and Oisin Tymon.”
The producer is said to have visited Accident and Emergency after Clarkson involved him in a “physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature”.
Hall shared: “I cannot condone what has happened on this occasion … 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.”
The inquiry into the altercation – which is reported to have taken place because Tymon failed to provide Clarkson with a hot meal when the kitchen at their hotel closed after filming – was led by BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie and his findings have now been made public.
MacQuarrie stated that “the physical attack lasted around 30 seconds and was halted by the intervention of a witness”.
He also insisted that Tymon “offered no retaliation” after becoming the main target of Clarkson’s “derogatory and abusive language”, which included threats that led him to believe “he had lost his job”.
Although Hall also confessed in his statement that he is a “great fan” of Clarkson – who “made a number of attempts” to apologise to Tymon in the days after the attack – and his work, he insisted “no blame attaches” to the producer.
He added: “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.”
The BBC are now looking into how they can “put out” the last programmes in the current series of ‘Top Gear’, and how “to renew” the show for 2016.
Following Jeremy’s dismissal, names including Jodie Kidd, Chris Evans and Steve Coogan have been linked to his job.