After a long and fruitful relationship with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Jeremy Clarkson could quit, forever. He joined Top Gear way back in 1988, but the Top Gear we know today, was first aired (season 1) in October 2002. Now on season 22 of its existence, the show that is presented by Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, has garnered mass fame and is watched by over 350 million people worldwide. It has been touted as the world’s favourite car show and we aren’t surprised. Unfortunately, this debacle could very well be the beginning of the end for Top Gear, as we know it. The whole thing kicked off, when the 54 year-old supposedly ‘punched’ one of the show’s assistant producers, Oisin Tymon. The altercation is said to have occurred somewhere last week at a filming location. His co-hosts, namely Richard Hammond and James May, who are also his friends, are in the clear. Clarkson’s suspension came just days away from the trio renewing their three year contract for the show. Their contract with the BBC is to lapse by this month’s end.
The 54 year-old is accused of having hit an assistant producer of the show.
According to Clarkson, he neither punched nor hit Tymon, but agreed that there was some pushing. At the end of the day, the BBC owns the Top Gear marque’s rights and that includes the various Top Gear merchandises. All in all, Top Gear generates an estimated £50 million per year for the BBC. Fellow co-host and friend, James May, admitted that the fiasco took place over some catering arrangements done for the show. Clarkson and Hammond have often taken a rib at May, calling him Captain Slow, for his reluctance in driving fast. Clarkson’s fellow presenters often call him an Orangutan and the presenters share an interesting, if slightly unorthodox chemistry between each other. This chemistry, is one of the main factors behind Top Gear’s popularity and success. That said, Clarkson has sparked numerous controversies through his unfiltered and pokey comments made on the motoring show. The BBC had issued a “final warning” to the bombastic host, when he made a racial slur last year during a Top Gear outtake.
Clarkson’s relationship with the top-brass at BBC has been rocky, recently.
However, the BBC could be faced with huge penalties from foreign broadcasting services, for postponing and/or cancelling the remaining episodes (from season 22) of Top Gear. The sacking of Clarkson, if deemed necessary and any changes to the outcome of this popular show, could end up costing millions of pounds for the broadcasting corporation. Plus, the removal of Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear, could well lead to the quitting of the show’s other presenters, who are equally popular. That, in essence, may be the final nail in the coffin for this show.
The final word on Clarkson, is still pending investigation by the BBC.
Our doomsday prediction aside, the BBC isn’t exactly clamouring over a shortage for ‘suitable’ candidates for their show. The same applies for Clarkson, who has been constantly approached by rival broadcasting corporations and could make a jump, if he decides to do so. But, would you watch Top Gear if any or all current presenters quit the show? Do you think Jeremy Clarkson deserves to be sacked? Let us know of your thoughts and opinions on this whole debacle, in the comments section.