Police investigate Clarkson attack


Published: Thursday 26th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Jeremy Clarkson faces an uncertain future and possible police action after being dropped by the BBC as host of Top Gear.

And the hit motoring show’s future is subject to speculation, with co-host James May considering his position and Richard Hammond declaring the “end to an era”.

The BBC confirmed Clarkson’s contract would not be renewed following an investigation which found the presenter’s attack on producer Oisin Tymon “crossed the line”, having left him needing hospital treatment.

Mr Tymon, who did not report the incident and thought he had lost his job, has also been subject to abuse from Top Gear fans on social media.

Clarkson’s immediate concern will be possible criminal action after North Yorkshire Police have asked to see the BBC’s report into the 30-second physical attack at a hotel in the county.

A force spokeswoman said: “The information will be assessed appropriately and action will be taken by North Yorkshire Police where necessary. It would not be appropriate for North Yorkshire Police to comment further at this time.”

As for the 54 year old’s broadcasting future, two major broadcasters, Sky and Channel 4, are understood to have ruled out working with him, while ITV said they would not comment on “a BBC issue”.

But the BBC’s creative director Alan Yentob offered a potential olive branch by refusing to rule out a return to the corporation in the future.

He told BBC2’s Newsnight: “Of course I wouldn’t rule that out, but that’s not for now. ”

As Clarkson left his upmarket west London home on a push bike last night, he dodged reporters’ questions, saying “I’m off out, sorry”, before riding away.

BBC director general Tony Hall said the corporation wanted to “renew” the show for next year but it is unclear what role, if any, May and Hammond could play.

The pair, whose contracts also run out at the end of this month, were scheduled to take part in four live Top Gear shows in Norway this week, later postponed.

May described Clarkson’s departure was a “tragedy” but said: “I’m sure Top Gear will continue in some way. It existed before us and it has been reformatted several times.”

Asked if he will stay at Top Gear, he added: “I don’t want to talk about that too much but I think we are very much the three of us as a package. It works for very complicated reasons that a lot of people don’t fully understand. So that will require a lot of careful thought.”

Hammond said he was “gutted at such a sad end to an era” after Clarkson’s sacking. He added: “We’re all three of us idiots in our different ways but it’s been an incredible ride together.”

The BBC declined to comment on the future of the other two men.

But Mr Yentob acknowledged it was “perfectly natural” for Hammond and May to have reservations about continuing Top Gear but said he would be disappointed if they quit.

He said: “It’s perfectly natural for them. They are a team they have worked together for a very long time, they are all very attached. The question of what happens next for Top Gear is a conversation which must go on between the controller of BBC2 Kim Shillinglaw, between Andy (Wilman – producer of Top Gear) and the team.”

Published: Thursday 26th March 2015 by The News Editor

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