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Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear


Jeremy Clarkson's Top Gear days are over.

BBC's Director-General Tony Hall said in a statement Wednesday that it was "with great regret" Clarkson's contract would not be renewed following an altercation between the presenter and producer Oisin Tymon.

"It is not a decision I have taken lightly," noted Hall, thanking BBC Scotland Boss Ken MacQuarrie for "the thorough way he has conducted an investigation of the incident on 4th March." Hall noted the findings of this report are only being published "so people can better understand the background" of the decision not to renew Clarkson's contract and that, "The main facts are not disputed by those involved."

"I cannot condone what has happened on this occasion," Hall stated. "A member of staff—who is a completely innocent party—took himself to Accident and Emergency [the hospital's emergency room] after a physical altercation accompanied by sustained and prolonged verbal abuse of an extreme nature. For me a line has been crossed. There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial considerations."

Hall pointed out the situation resulting from the altercation "has obviously been difficult for everyone involved but in particular for Oisin [the producer]. I want to make clear that no blame attaches to him for this incident. He has behaved with huge integrity throughout. As a senior producer at the BBC he will continue to have an important role within the organisation in the future."

Tyson addressed Clarkson's departure with a statement of his own, saying (per the Telegraph): "I've worked on Top Gear for almost a decade, a programme I love. Over that time Jeremy and I had a positive and successful working relationship, making some landmark projects together. He is a unique talent and I am well aware that many will be sorry his involvement in the show should end in this way."

BBC's Director-General shared a similar viewpoint on the quality of Clarkson's work, stating: "This decision should in no way detract from the extraordinary contribution that Jeremy Clarkson has made to the BBC. I have always personally been a great fan of his work and Top Gear. Jeremy is a huge talent. He may be leaving the BBC but I am sure he will continue to entertain, challenge and amuse audiences for many years to come."

As of Wednesday morning, Clarkson had updated his Twitter bio to read: "I used to be a presented on the BBC2 motoring show, Top Gear."

Top Gear's Richard Hammond reacted to the news of Clarkson's departure with a heartfelt tweet of his own.

As for the show's future? "The BBC must now look to renew Top Gear for 2016," Hall said in a statement. "This will be a big challenge and there is no point in pretending otherwise...I have asked [BBC2 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."