After rumours about an altercation with a producer were confirmed as being true, many expected the BBC to hand Jeremy Clarkson his marching orders and today that decision was announced by the Director General who revealed that the controversial host would not continue in his role on Top Gear.
Despite being given support by co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond, Clarkson’s aggression towards producer Oisin Tymon was deemed to be the final straw according to the BBC boss Tony Hall, who said that the decision had “not been made lightly” and was “likely to divide opinion.”
He went on to say that Clarkson had “crossed a line” and he “cannot condone his behaviour” in an act which left Tymon “shaken” and “fearing for his own job.”
Hall’s statement to the press went on to state that “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 verbal abuse contained the strongest expletives and threats to sack Mr Tymon and was only halted by a witness intervening.”
More than one million Top Gear and Clarkson fans signed an online petition calling for him to remain in his position but Hall said that this latest indiscretion could not be ignored and despite his “outstanding contribution to the show and the BBC in general” it was the only option.
It is believed that the show, which has an estimated 32 million viewers, will continue without Clarkson although his supportive co-hosts are yet to decide whether they will continue after showing such solid support in the past few weeks.
Clarkson has already changed his Twitter profile to reflect the announcement.