Jeremy Clarkson will not be returning to the BBC following his ‘fracas’ with a producer earlier this month.
Tony Hall, the beeb’s Director General, notified the Top Gear host that the corporation won’t be renewing his contract following an investigation into the incident. Hall said the decision was “not taken lightly” and only after full consideration and speaking to both Clarkson and producer Oisin Tymon.
The report today (25 March) confirmed the incident took place at Simonstone Hall Hotel in North Yorkshire whilst filming on location for an episode of Top Gear. It says that Clarkson reported himself to BBC management on 9 March, saying that he’d been involved in a “physical and verbal incident” with Tymon. The BBC took the decision to suspend Clarkson the following day.
The investigation found that Tymon was subject an unprovoked physical and verbal attack from Clarkson on 4 March. Headmitted himself to hospital following the attack, which resulted in swelling and bleeding to his lip. The report adds that Tymon did not retaliate to the physical attack, which is said to have lasted for around 30 seconds.
Clarkson threatened to sack Oisin from the show during the verbal attack which was filled with derogatory and abusive language. The report concluded that Oisin had suffered “significant personal distress” as a result of the incident. Jeremy Clarkson made a number of attempts to apologise to the producer, before referring to the incident to the BBC.
The investigation was led by BBC Director of Scotland Ken MacQuarrie, who handed the report to Tony Hall for consideration. Hall says that his final decision today will divide opinion.
“I know how popular the programme [Top Gear] is and I also know that this decision will divide opinion. The main facts are not disputed by those involved. 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.” – BBC Director General Tony Hall
The remaining episodes of the current series of Top Gear were pulled from the BBC Two schedule following Clarkson’s suspension. The BBC says they are looking into a way they could screen the remaining episodes while long term the motoring format is expected to reinvent itself in Clarkson’s absence. It is unclear whether Clarkson’s co-presenters, James May and Richard Hammond will continue with the format.