The BBC has announced it will not renew the contract of Jeremy Clarkson, who had hosted the wildly popular car show since 1998. BBC director general Tony Hall confirmed his decision to the network’s entertainment news section Wednesday morning.
Clarkson was suspended two weeks ago for verbally and physically assaulting a Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon after tensions boiled over after a long day shooting on location.
Tymon released a statement reading,”I respect Lord Hall’s detailed findings and I am grateful to the BBC for their thorough and swift investigation into this very regrettable incident, against a background of intense media interest and speculation.I’ve worked on Top Gear for almost a decade, a programme I love. Over that time Jeremy and I had a positive and successful working relationship, making some landmark projects together. He is a unique talent and I am well aware that many will be sorry his involvement in the show should end in this way.”
In a recent column for the U.K.’s Sun, Clarkson thanked the 900,000 supporters who signed the “Bring Back Clarkson” petition but felt the writing was on the wall.
“You can start as many campaigns as you like and call on the support of politicians from all sides, but the day must come when you have to wave goodbye to the big monsters, and move on,” he wrote. “We lose one animal and get another. The world turns.”
Clarkson has made no public comment, other than to update his Twitter bio. It now reads, “I used to be a presenter on the BBC2 motoring show, Top Gear.”
London’s Telegraph is reporting that the BBC does not plan to cancel Top Gear despite Clarkson’s firing and they are already trying to woo British radio host and known car-lover Chris Evans, who had been a guest on the show. However, Evans shot down that notion on his show this morning, saying, “Not only is it not true, it’s absolute nonsense.”
Meanwhile, the contracts for both of Clarkson’s co-hosts, Richard Hammond andJames May, also expire soon and neither has not made his intentions known. Hammond lamented the outcome, calling it “such a sad end to an era.”