Top Gear

Jeremy Clarkson officially sacked by the BBC

Well it’s official, not even a million-signature petition was enough to save Jeremy Clarkson from being sacked by the BBC, after an investigation concluded he attacked a producer on the programme. A source close to the investigation, explaining the decision not to renew Clarkson’s contract, has said: “There can’t be one rule for talent and one rule for ordinary human beings.”

A report into the so-called ‘fracas’ at a North Yorkshire hotel, concluded that Clarkson spent 20 minutes verbally abusing producer Oisin Tymon, before launching into a 30 second physical assault on him. The outburst came after Clarkson, who is one of the BBC’s best paid stars, was informed he could not have steak and chips after a hard day’s filming because the hotel where they were staying had stopped serving hot food for the night.

The BBC’s full 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.

I am grateful to Ken MacQuarrie for the thorough way he has conducted an investigation of the incident on 4th March. Given the obvious and very genuine public interest in this I am publishing the findings of his report. I take no pleasure in doing so. I am only making them public so people can better understand the background. I know how popular the programme is and I also know that this decision will divide opinion. The main facts are not disputed by those involved.

I want to make three points.

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 BBC must now look to renew Top Gear for 2016. This will be a big challenge and there is no point in pretending otherwise. I have asked Kim Shillinglaw to look at how best we might take this forward over the coming months. I have also asked her to look at how we put out the last programmes in the current series.”

– Tony Hall, the BBC Director-General

Investigation findings – Ken MacQuarrie

On 9 March 2015, Jeremy Clarkson reported to BBC management that he had been involved in a physical and verbal incident with Oisin Tymon, the producer of Top Gear, at the Simonstone Hall Hotel, North Yorkshire, whilst working on location.The incident had occurred on 4 March 2015 and Jeremy Clarkson was suspended on 10 March, pending investigation.

I was asked to undertake an investigation to establish the facts of what occurred. In conducting my investigation, in line with the BBC’s usual practice, I interviewed a number of witnesses and others connected with the incident. Accounts were agreed, based on my interviews, with each participant.

Having conducted these interviews and considered the evidence presented, I conclude the following: on 4 March 2015 Oisin Tymon was subject to an unprovoked physical and verbal attack by Jeremy Clarkson. During the physical attack Oisin Tymon was struck, resulting in swelling and bleeding to his lip. The verbal abuse was sustained over a longer period, both at the time of the physical attack and subsequently.

Specific facts I have found as part of my investigation are as follows:

  • earlier on 4 March, studio recording of Top Gear had taken place in Surrey and the presenters had travelled that same evening to the location shoot in North Yorkshire;
  • the incident occurred on a patio area of the Simonstone Hall Hotel, where Oisin Tymon was working on location for Top Gear;
  • the physical attack lasted around 30 seconds and was halted by the intervention of a witness;
  • it is the case that Oisin Tymon offered no retaliation;
  • the verbal abuse was directed at Oisin Tymon on more than one occasion – both during the attack and subsequently inside the hotel – and contained the strongest expletives and threats to sack him. The abuse was at such volume as to be heard in the dining room, and the shouting was audible in a hotel bedroom;
  • derogatory and abusive language, relating to Oisin Tymon and other members of the Top Gear team, continued to be used by Jeremy Clarkson inside the hotel, in the presence of others, for a sustained period of time;
  • it is clear that Oisin Tymon was shocked and distressed by the incident, and believed that he had lost his job;
  • following the attack, I understand that Oisin Tymon drove to a nearby A&E department for examination;
  • over the subsequent days, Jeremy Clarkson made a number of attempts to apologise to Oisin Tymon by way of text, email and in person; and it is the case that Jeremy Clarkson reported the incident to BBC management.

It was not disputed by Jeremy Clarkson or any witness 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.


James May – “The three of us are a package”

Richard Hammond on Twitter – “Gutted at such a sad end to an era. We’re all three of us idiots in our different ways but it’s been an incredible ride together.”

Former Stig Perry McCarthy

What now?

Despite finally deciding to axe Clarkson as the show’s lead presenter, the BBC is planning to continue broadcasting Top Gear on BBC2. It is not immediately clear whether Richard Hammond and James May will sign back on with a new lead presenter, as without Clarkson the show will no doubt begin a ratings nose dive. Will you be watching?

There isn’t much else to say right now, other than that it is a sad day for Top Gear fans. The show as we know it is officially over after a 174 episode run, spanning across 13 years. It was one hell of a ride and I’d like to thank Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May, Andy Wilman and the rest of the Top Gear team for producing one of the best shows the world has ever seen.

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Tillee March 27, 2015 at 3:37 pm

This is plain bullshit.
No Jezza,no Top Gear.

Stick your TG revamp up your arse,BBC!

Hugh March 27, 2015 at 5:13 am

We all knew this day would come one day…just not as soon.

Rodrigo Teles March 26, 2015 at 10:35 pm

The best thing they can do is start another show with the top gear format on a new station, and then the BBC will see how big was they’re fuck up. I want retaliation from the three presenters, i want to see the BBC go down for them. Now, I think, it’s WAR!!!!!

Jan-Willem van Soest March 26, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Rumors that executive producer and some editors are also leaving top gear.

I wouldn’t be suprise if they are already talking about the setup of a new show with ITV or Netflix.

Mike Papaleontiou March 26, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Well there goes my fav show.. I hope the three of them will start a new one.

Kian March 26, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Without JC, JM and RH, it’ll be watching TopGear USA 🙂 F**k

In The series 20 they said “It must end someday eventually”

Well this is it. Let’s remember the greatest entertainment programmer with happy moments it brought to us.

Goodby TopGear

p45 March 26, 2015 at 1:35 pm

The BBC can go fuck themselves, they’ve ruined one of the greatest shows on the planet, and Clarkson was Top Gear. I know and hope that Hammond and May will follow Jeremy, and as James said, they’re a package. Seriously though, 350 million viewers down the drain, thanks to them sacking one of their best employees. I won’t watch a “new” top gear, with new presenters, because if Hammond, May and Clarkson aren’t there, then who gives 2 fucks? FUCK THE BBC. Thats all I’m going to say.

And on that Bombshell, its time to end. Thanks ever so much for watching, and Goodnight.

Darien Seminoff March 26, 2015 at 9:58 am

Fuck the BBC!! Without JC there is NO Top gear, No Top Gear for me anyways if he goes Im done with the show, I guess its Fifth Gear From here on out.

Jgalt March 26, 2015 at 7:29 am

BBC just show that they are operating in communist way, they sack one who bring them 60 m$ for guy who is incompetent to buy a decent meal, yes it is wrong to punch people for any reason but that should be handled in court and JC should get his punishment in court, but communist always parasites on someone else money so they can stand “higher” moral ground and bite a hand that is feeding them and pet useless poltroons …

So now lets them have their red program with Darwin, Marx and Engels and we will watch JC and crew somewhere else

PS March 26, 2015 at 5:03 am

I would rather watch Fifth Gear with Tiff Needell than a Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson. Wait!! Can we get Tiff and Jeremy to present a show together once again?

shahar March 26, 2015 at 4:14 am

I think Top Gear is too big and too old to handle this huge change.
In season 2 , James may replaced another presenter. But now, when Top Gear have 350 million viewers its impossible.
Who will comentate the hot laps and talk with the stars (in the reasonably priced car).
And if they find another presenter, ignoring the change will be quiet idiotic. And what are they going to do with all the clips with Jeremy? Throw them away?

Ady Jr March 26, 2015 at 3:26 am

TopGear=Jermy Clarkson, without him there is no TopGear, I hope this show back to air again, sad moment…..

Ian March 26, 2015 at 12:49 am

if i wanted to watch Top Gear without Jeremy, i’d watch Fifth Gear (no disrespect to the Fifth Gear crew) but Jeremy is helluva funny guy.

David Earnest March 26, 2015 at 12:42 am

No Clarkson, May or Hammond? No Top Gear. I will not watch a “NEW” Top Gear without those three and I mean ALL Three. Fuck the BBC. I’m done with them.

the guy with no name March 25, 2015 at 10:18 pm

I want them to leave the BBC and then I want the BBC to beg on it’s knees for Jezza to come back as their world turns to complete shit as they realize the magnitude of their world class fuck up.

Also, James’s hat is too distracting.

theatrelf March 25, 2015 at 9:54 pm

It is a sad day, but really, how could action not be taken? Yes, Jeremy’s bombastic, anti-PC, shoot-from-the-hip presenting style has been the spark and the spice of the show, and we wouldn’t change that part of him for the world – but this time he physically lashed out – attacked – a member of the team. The team of talented, hard-working, long-suffering support staff who make TG what it is. Jezza crossed a line, and so many people look up to the stars of this show, they could not let him get away with bullying and abuse. That’s what it was, guys. As much fun as Jeremy was to watch, you cannot make exceptions based on popularity or financial worth – think of the message that would send. My heart is breaking over the loss of my favourite show, but there was no other rational route to go. So Jeremy has to. Sad, but he brought this on himself.

Dori House March 25, 2015 at 8:30 pm

sorry guys, I do like Clarkson as much as you do, but, I can´t find any reason to support someone so spoiled that will verbally abuse someone and then assault him for not having a steak after work… if your boss curses at his assistant and punches him for not having coffee after the meeting, I am sure you wont sign a petition so he can keep his job. It is sad, don´t get me wrong, Top Gear UK is the best show on TV. I think this is a lesson for him and I can´t wait to see them again in a new top gear style show.

Ciulea Victor March 25, 2015 at 9:32 pm

There won’t be another Top Gear, I guarantee you! Hammond and May will most likely leave bbc and go with Clarkson, but the BBC own Top gear, so, THIS THE END!!

Jan-Willem van Soest March 25, 2015 at 10:34 pm

The name Top-Gear is owned by the BBC, Make a new program called “Changed Gear” at a commercial station, Rename the stig to a commercial brand.
wich is paying the most money and fill his racingsuit fully with sponsors (As funny reference for being a commercial channel now).

Use some other small airfield, as they can all use the money, Build a new test track. And program the show to the Top Gear Time slot.

I can assure you, If Richard and James Stick with Clarkson and keep the same formula. The BBC is the only one to lose.

Oh, And top gear will take 1,5 hours instead of 1 hour due to annoying and long commercial brake’s. But i can overcome that.

Sean McKellar March 25, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Interestingly enough the Dunsfold Test Track is available for anyone to rent, so they wouldn’t necessarily need to give that up…

the guy with no name March 26, 2015 at 8:09 am

True dat^. Dunsfold isn’t BBC property, it’s a business park as far as I know. Also, McLaren do their testing there so the BBC have no control over Dunsfold.

the guy with no name March 26, 2015 at 8:15 am

They should call the new show “car-nage” or just name it after one of Jezza’s many quotes like ‘speed and power’. Or how about ‘Top Bombshell’?

The new Stig could be called Geoff (As a reference to the first eagle – i – hammerhead thrust). And then they can have a new cool wall where the Seriously uncool section is now called the BBC section; so something like the G-wiz would go in the BBC section lol.

the guy with no name March 26, 2015 at 6:50 pm

The un-reasonably priced car is not such a good idea as celebrities crash a lot and something like expensive wouldn’t be good; especially if they invite Jimmy Carr/’carnage’/’crash’ back.

Jan-Willem van Soest March 25, 2015 at 9:36 pm

Top gear presenter is not a 9 to 5 job, Everything who have watched the episodes can imagine that they go through extreme working conditions.

Offcourse clarkson should be punished and should have publicly apologized. This would also have been a better option for everyone. If this were handled internally, Clarkson would have compensated Oison Tymon. A public apology could have followed and warranty’s on his job could have been given.

This conclusion make’s everybody worse.

And a thing everything is forgetting the conditions clarkson may and hammond are working in. The producers let hammond ride with faulty steering and brakes on the worlds most dangerous road. Just to have viewers and make more money.

Offcourse hammond was there and crazy enough to do it. But my opinion is that this is way worse of a crime than what jeremy did.

As i have said before, BBC is having double standards.

Top Gear presenters put their lives at risk which makes BBC huge profits, And if a producer got a bleeding lip they fire clarkson

MrM3 March 25, 2015 at 8:05 pm

This is a sad day indeed. But I wonder if there is any news on the episodes left on the current season? Will BBC air theese episodes or not? I will give the new Top Gear a chance at least. I am also looking forward to see what Clarkson/May/Hammond will do next.

Derrick Bass March 25, 2015 at 7:54 pm

This is a sad day.


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