BBC will not be renewing Jeremy Clarkson’s contract for “Top Gear,” BBC Director-General Tony Hall announced in a statement on March 25.
The decision was made after Ken MacQuarrie’s investigation found “Top Gear” producer Oisin Tymon to be a victim of Clarkson’s unprovoked physical and verbal attack. Hall admits that letting go of Clarkson, whom he described as a huge talent, will be a big challenge for “Top Gear.”
A Line Has Been Crossed
The physical and verbal attack happened on March 4 at the Simonstone Hall Hotel, North Yorkshire, while everyone was working on location. Based on the findings presented to him, Hall believed Clarkson had crossed the line.
“There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial considerations,” he said in a statement.
Hall said the issue has been difficult for everyone involved, particularly to Tymon. He clarified that the producer had no single fault for the 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,” Hall said.
Despite the controversy, Hall recognized Clarkson’s extraordinary contribution to BBC, and he has all the nicest words for him.
“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.”
Unprovoked Physical and Verbal Attack
According to MacQuarrie’s investigation, Clarkson voluntarily reported the incident to BBC management.
“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,” MacQuarrie said.
According to witnesses interviewed by MacQuarrie, the attack lasted for about 30 seconds and Tymon did not retaliate in whatever form. The verbal abuse happened while Clarkson was physically attacking Tymon at the hotel’s lobby and continued even inside the hotel after staff had pacified him.
Clarkson’s verbal tirades contained “expletives and threats” done in such volume heard in the dining room, and Clarkson’s shouting was “audible in a hotel bedroom,” witnesses told MacQuarrie. He continued with the abuse even if he was aware other people present. Tymon drove to the closest clinic to have his wounds treated immediately, investigation has found.
Clarkson made a number of attempts to apologize to Tymon, reaching out to him by text messages, email and in person, MacQuarrie said. It was, however, unclear whether the two have made peace.
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