Wednesday 24 January 2018

Jeremy Clarkson 'expected to hear Top Gear career is over' as he faces BBC inquiry

Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson’s “fracas” has rolled on for over a week, taking longer, as David Mitchell pointed out during The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday, than some war inquiries do to reach a verdict.

But reports suggest that the Top Gear presenter could be set to learn whether his career at the BBC is over today.

Lord Hall, the BBC director-general, suggested that he is preparing to announce the broadcaster’s decision over Clarkson’s alleged misconduct after the host is thought to have punched a show producer following a row over food.

“Let’s see what the inquiry says,” the Telegraph quotes him as saying. “I think it’s about 24 hours away.”

“If my son or daughter went to a place of work where they were shouted at, abused, and someone threw a punch at them, then I would want there to be an inquiry and I would want that to be dealt with in a very serious way, and that’s what the BBC is doing.”

Asked whether he’d expect to remain employed if he assaulted someone at work, he answered: “What do you think?”

The BBC declined to comment any further on the speculation.

An internal investigation into the incident has been carried out by Ken MacQuarrie, the head of BBC Scotland, after Clarkson reported it himself two weeks ago. It is thought he handed his final report to Lord Hall over the weekend.

Show sources have since indicated that were Clarkson to be sacked, his co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May would be expected to go ahead with a series of live events planned this year.

On Monday, The Times quoted a source as saying that Clarkson is already thinking of himself as a man for hire and has even started to pitch new TV shows.

One of which, according to the report, sounds stunningly like Man v Countryfile.

“In the last week [Jeremy] has had a chance to firm it up,” the insider apparently told the paper.

“It’s about trying to run a farm when you don’t know anything about farming, and... getting things wrong, in a Top Gear-esque way.”

Clarkson is thought to have originally pitched the idea to George Entwistle, the BBC’s then director general, in 2012. The Times alleges the project ended because the two failed to agree on a location.

The news comes as four live Top Gear performances in Stavanger, Norway, due to be held on 27 and 28 March, have been cancelled.

About 18,000 tickets, costing up to £100, for the shows had been sold.

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