Following a two-week suspension and investigation, , Jeremy Clarkson, one of the hosts of the BBC's hugely popular car series ‘Top Gear’, for an “unprovoked” physical and verbal assault on a ‘Top Gear’ producer, Oisin Tymon.
Mr. Clarkson, 54, was accused of attacking Oisin Tymon, after Mr. Clarkson returned to a Yorkshire hotel after a late-night drinking session to find that there was no hot food served at that hour. After the BBC was informed of what it initially called “a fracas,” Mr. Clarkson was suspended on March 10 and the last three episodes of this season of the popular show were postponed.
After Mr. Clarkson’s suspension, more than a million people signed an online petition seeking his reinstatement, and he received remarkable statements of support from prominent friends, including Prime Minister David Cameron.
After an investigation, the BBC director general, Tony Hall, said in a statement, “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.”
“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 (BBC Two Controller) 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.”
The decision comes after a series of disputes with Mr. Clarkson over the content of the show. The renewal of the show though looks doubtful, as Clarkson’s fellow co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond have indicated that they would not continue it without him.’
Clarkson’s whose tweets are followed by nearly 5 million people, updated his Twitter bio to read: "I used to be a presenter on the BBC2 motoring show, Top Gear." Last week he downgraded his role on the show from ‘presenter’ to "probably a presenter".
Twitter is now in a meltdown over Jeremy Clarkson sacking and the hashtag #RIPTopGear is widely trending.
‘Top Gear’ has a global audience of 350 million, with viewing rights sold to 214 territories world-wide, according to the BBC.
..... Devashree Goenka