After almost a month of “are they, aren’t they“, the BBC has announced that it will not be renewing Jeremy Clarkson’s contract as host of Top Gear.
The drama all started on 10 March 2015 when the host of one of the most popular TV shows of all time, Jeremy Clarkson, was suspended by the BBC pending an investigation surrounding a “fracas”. The incident in question allegedly took place on 04 March 2015 following a day of filming when Clarkson reportedly had words with one of the crew members, Oisin Tymon. The situation escalated and the Top Gear host apparently verbally attacked and punched the producer. Clarkson was then suspended on 10 March.
That brings us to yesterday, when the BBC announced that it is severing its ties with Jeremy Clarkson.
This decision comes after an internal investigation into the incident was conducted by Ken MacQuarrie who found that:
Oisin Tymon was the victim of an unprovoked physical and verbal attack. It is also clear to me that Oisin Tymon is an important creative member of the Top Gear team who is well-valued and respected. He has suffered significant personal distress as a result of this incident, through no fault of his own.
The announcement was made on the official BBC website by the BBC Director-General, Tony Hall. Hall described the decision to decline to renew Clarkson’s contract as a “difficult” one, but admitted that he cannot “condone what has happened on this occasion“. Hall goes on to explain that he still holds Clarkson in high-regard and that he was a fan of his work and of Top Gear.
This leaves open the question of what happens to the popular motoring show. According to Hall the BBC is looking to rebrand and renew Top Gear for 2016, but no other details were given. Based on comments made by co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond, they will be supporting Clarkson and will continue to be united as a hosting team, with May stating that:
As much as I think he’s a knob, I quite like working with Jeremy.
It is unclear what the future holds for these three hooligans or Top Gear, with the BBC admitting that it won’t be an easy task to reinvent the show. One thing is for sure, Clarkson, May and Hammond have always had great chemistry and it would be difficult to imagine those shoes being filled. The trio have been the faces of the show since the early 2000s and many fans automatically make the association between the show and these talented clowns.
Jeremy Clarkson is yet to make an official statement and last tweeted early yesterday that he hadn’t heard anything yet. But he has since updated his bio on Twitter to read:
I used to be a presenter on the BBC2 motoring show,Top Gear
Just to keep everyone up to date, I haven't heard a thing.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) March 25, 2015