Tempers have flared all over the place when it comes to how former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson was handled by BBC director general Tony Hall, from those aghast that Clarkson could ever be fired to those who couldn’t believe that the BBC kept him on the air as long as they did. But it appears someone has taken things far more personally than most, as police are investigating a death threat that Hall received after firing Clarkson last week.
Legit danger or just someone blowing off steam? That’s what Met Police are trying to figure out. According to the BBC, the threats came via email on Wednesday, March 25, the same day that Hall announced Clarkson was off of the show. It looks as if the email was reportedly sent from outside the U.K., although Met officials are still trying to lock down exactly where it came from. At this point, no arrests have been made.
Though it might seem to some like a misguided attempt for an irate fan to draw attention to himself or herself, the Hall family definitely isn’t taking the threat lightly, as their Oxfordshire home has been under 24-hour surveillance, with security guards posted outside. No details were released about what kind of threats were made, but that’s not surprising. It speaks loudly to how some people think, though, threatening death to someone who fired a guy for assaulting someone else.
Clarkson was originally suspended from Top Gear duties earlier this month after he reportedly verbally assaulted producer Oisin Tymon and punched him in the face. The reason? There wasn’t any hot food ready for the hosts after a long day of filming, and anybody familiar with Clarkson’s behavior knows that he doesn’t take disappointment lightly. And though it’s not exactly death threats, Tymon has been facing the social media wrath of diehard Clarkson fans, many of whom signed a petition to get the troublesome host put back on the show.
The aftermath of Hall’s decisions mean that the Top Gear we all know is no more, as co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond refused to work on any more episodes without Clarkson’s presence. And just today, producer and co-reinventor Andy Wilman has also left the show, as announced through an email to the remaining Top Gear staff. He and Clarkson were the foundation for this show, so the BBC has their work cut out for them finding another group of gearheads to try and keep this series as big of a global hit as it has been.
Anyone looking for a little insight into the former Top Gear hosts’ mindsets would be wise to check out this recent Daily Mail article that details what Clarkson, Hammond and May requested for their behind-the-scenes provisional riders for episodes, including 20 bottles of wine, a carton of cigarettes, Scrabble, “nice rubbish bins” and much more.