By Wes Terrell
An era has ended. According to a report from the BBC, reporter Jeremy Clarkson was fired from the network after a fight with a producer in March. BBC Newsbeat tweeted a statement by BBC Director Tony Hall saying, “It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract.”
Clarkson has been the host of the British TV show “Top Gear” since it aired in 2002. Along with Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May hosted the show. They traveled the world, searched for great roads, reviewed cars and filmed their shenanigans. The car-enthusiast program has grown quite a following, and now, twenty-two seasons later, a bombshell has ended it.
According to pastemagazine. com, May and Hammond, whose contracts expired in March, have said they will not return to host the show without Clarkson. Additionally, producer Andy Wilman also resigned.
“You can’t just put a surrogate Jeremy in and expect it to carry on,” May told The Guardian.
Likewise, Hammond tweeted: “To be clear amidst all this talk of us ‘quitting’ or not: there’s nothing for me to ‘quit.’ Not about to quit my mates anyway.”
Roig Wilson, Brookhaven College automotive student, said he has watched “Top Gear” since the sixth season. “It wasn’t the right move for Jeremy,” he said. “They could have handled it better.”
Clarkson is no stranger to controversy. According to an article by The Telegraph, Clarkson has been involved in several incidents, including using racial slurs, driving a car in Argentina with a license plate offensive to Falklands War veterans, and saying truck drivers murder prostitutes.
According to the BBC report and The Telegraph, the incident that ended the show took place on March 4 at the Simonstone Hotel in North Yorkshire. After a day of filming, Clarkson verbally and physically attacked producer Oisin Tymon because the hotel did not provide a steak dinner.
After the news came out, an investigation began. The BBC concluded the attack happened. Clarkson was fired, and his contract was not renewed. The report also stated Clarkson reported the incident to BBC management.
“I think we’re very much, the three of us, a package,” May said of Clarkson, Hammond and himself in an interview on caradvice.com.au. “It works for very complicated reasons that a lot of people don’t fully understand.”
Clarkson changed his Twitter header to include: “I used to be a presenter on the BBC2 motoring show, Top Gear.”
According to an article from Car and Driver, there is talk of Clarkson making a new motoring show on Netflix. A network such as Netflix would be less formal than the BBC network. This would give Clarkson free reign of what he says and does.
The Guardian reported that Hammond and May may also join in, though that is not confirmed. However, the possibility of a non-compete clause in their contracts would diminish the chances of this collaboration, May said.
Many wonder what the next step is for “Top Gear.” According to hollywoodreporter.com, one option is replacing the hosts with a brand new cast featuring a female presenter. Regardless, the show will not be the same. Hammond summed it up on Twitter: “Gutted at such a sad end to an era. We’re all three of us idiots in our different ways but it’s been an incredible ride together.”