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BBC drops Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear

BBC drops Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear
Staff Reporter
25 March 2015

Jeremy Clarkson has been dropped from Top Gear.

BBC director general Tony Hall said today that the BBC will not renew Clarkson’s contract.

 “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.”

Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon was fully exonerated following a row on 4th March which was said to have occurred because no hot food was provided for Clarkson following a day's filming.

Hall said: “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.”

Hall said Tymon had behaved with ‘huge integrity throughout’. “I want to make clear that no blame attaches to him for this incident…As a senior producer at the BBC he will continue to have an important role within the organisation in the future.”

Hall added that he had not taken his decision lightly, and said it should in not 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.”

He concluded: “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.”

BBC Scotland chief Ken MacQuarrie carried out an investigation into the incident. His report concluded that Tymon was subject to an unprovoked physical and verbal attack by Jeremy Clarkson.

During the physical attack 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 physical attack lasted around 30 seconds and was halted by the intervention of a witness. Tymon offered no retaliation.

The incident occurred on a patio area of the Simonstone Hall Hotel in Yorkshire, and contained ‘the strongest expletives’ and threats to sack Tymon. The abuse was at such volume that it could be heard in the dining room, and the shouting was audible in a hotel bedroom.

MacQuarrie said Tymon was shocked and distressed by the incident, and believed that he had lost his job.

Following the attack, Tymon drove to a nearby A&E department for examination.

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