The BBC announced today that they will not be presenting Jeremy Clarkson with a new contract as host of Top Gear. The man that was once the face of the entertainment’s number one TV show will part ways with the colossal program that he helped create. This announcement has come with an outpouring of comments from the BBC and fans alike, becoming one of the most dramatic departures in television history.
Tony Hall, Director-General of BBC, has stated that he has “not taken this decision lightly,” but also declaring “a line has been crossed.” The “line” in reference is the unprovoked physical attack between the front-man and producer Oisin Tymon.
BBC provided a recap of the incident, stating “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.”
The network also made it clear that Clarkson was the one, in fact, who turned himself in, stating he apologized to Tymon several times afterwards. Clarkson also agreed that the attack was wrong, admitting that the series of attacks were uncalled for.
Hall has confirmed that the BBC will undoubtedly look to continue Top Gear and its brand of comedic and informative line of entertainment. The current season is still being aired, but they’ve yet to determine how they will present each episode without one of their leading men.
The remaining hosts have been vocal, conveying their support for Clarkson and their sadness towards the decision to break up the trio; both James May and Richard Hammond have been supportive throughout the month-long ordeal.
James May voiced his thoughts with Sky News, calling the circumstance a “tragedy” which should have been “a small incident sorted out easily.”
Richard Hammond took to Twitter this afternoon, tweeting : “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.”
The only one has not come forward with a statement is Jeremy Clarkson, himself.
Although he is loved by many, Clarkson has not been without controversy in his tenure with Top Gear. Speculation as to whether or not he’s guilty of racism has caused many to demand his removal from the program in the past. He was on his last leg, and given the extent of the altercation, it’s no real surprise that his position was revoked. All things considered, fans around the world have come forward in support of Clarkson; petitions and countless posts on social media have asked for his rebound with the show.
Now that it’s all said and done, it goes without question that one of the wildest and longest lasting rides in television will undergo some extreme measures to ensure it’s fun and innocent brand that Clarkson helped establish. It’s hard to imagine Top Gear without it’s massive host, but hard times call for extreme measures.