Over the years, Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has offended many with his particular brand of political incorrectness, but he has entertained many more. The latter point is proven by how many of his fans have had his back during his current suspension, brought about over him allegedly punching a Top Gear producer earlier this month. Predictably, co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May are also on his side, and the duo are reportedly refusing to film any more episodes without him involved. Cue the screeching tire noise.
With the decision to suspend Clarkson, the BBC initially scrapped the final three episodes of Top Gear’s Season 22. But according to the Mirror, BBC execs were having discussions about saving those last few episodes by using mostly pre-recorded segments, with Hammond and May solely filming the in-studio parts. But that isn’t meant to be, apparently, and here’s how the Mirror’s source puts it.
They didn’t want to do it without Jeremy so the talks didn’t get off the ground. There is a feeling that it is all of them or none of them…Our priority has to be the person who has allegedly been attacked but we are between a rock and a hard place in all of this. There is no way everyone is going to be happy whatever is decided.
The probe is currently being handled by BBC Director General Tony Hall, and people have reportedly been pressuring him and TV head Danny Cohen to get this case settled speedily so that audiences can one day again watch these guys race around in gorgeous cars. (Why isn’t anyone petitioning for me to go out and do such things?) Both Clarkson and producer Oisin Tymon have given their statements to investigation chief Ken MacQuarrie, who is now going to speak with witnesses. That seems to be the last step in the probe, and a decision will likely be made in the near future.
The incident in question, called a dust-up by May in interviews following the suspension, took place at the beginning of the month during a long day of taping. Clarkson was apparently told that there was no hot dinner ready for the crew, and that’s when he allegedly decked Tymon in the face, leaving him with a split lip. This was one of several last straws that Clarkson has been given by the BBC, with the one before this coming last May when he used a racial slur on-camera while saying the children’s rhyme “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe.”
So now we wait to see where Clarkson’s wheels will end up next, and what Hammond and May will end up doing with that outcome. In the meantime, though, some fans have also started up a Change.org petition to have Steve Coogan’s hilarious film and TV character Alan Partridge take Clarkson’s place in future Top Gear episodes. Hell, we’d take him here on the American version if that doesn’t work out.