Jezza, I miss you already.
The BBC has announced that they have let Jeremy Clarkson go following the investigation conducted by Lord Tony Hall.
Condemned by an alleged fan, Lord Hall said: ‘We all know that Jeremy is a huge talent and has made an extraordinary contribution to the BBC. I’ve always been a great fan of his work on Top Gear. I also believe that his voice and voices like his have a really important place on the BBC – but not at any price.
‘Physical violence, accompanied by prolonged verbal abuse, has in my opinion crossed the line. That is why with regret I have decided we will not be renewing Jeremy’s contract.’
In his statement, Lord Hall acknowledged how difficult it had been for all concerned, noting that Oisin Tymon, the producer Clarkson is alleged to have attacked, had been ‘subjected to sustained verbal abuse of the sort that nobody should have to endure.’
The re-vamped version of Top Gear was successfully pitched by Clarkson and producer Andy Wilman back in 2001. For the past thirteen years, we have enjoyed the middle-aged racer boy that is Clarkson coming out with outlandish statements such as ‘Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary… That’s what gets you,’ ‘a Range Rover, doing 10,000 miles a year, produces less pollution a day than a cow farting,’ ‘Aston Martin DB9… that’s not really a racing car, that’s just pornography,’ and ‘You do not just avoid the Suzuki Wagon R. You avoid it like you would avoid unprotected sex with an Ethiopian transvestite.’
No more will we hear about precious Nissan Kumquat owners irate over how Clarkson chooses to refer to the Qashqai.
The main problem Clarkson had is that he’s not Prince Philip. I have to admit that I, personally, wouldn’t mind Phil taking over the job from Queen Elizabeth if he happened to outlive her, but sadly that’s not how it works. You can bet that if Phil had done this, though, he wouldn’t have been sacked. It’s a shame that Clarkson’s only the poor-man’s prince.
In the meantime, despite Clarkson’s hissy fit, Tymon had this to say: ‘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.’
One presumes that ‘many will be sorry for his loss’ actually means, on this occasion, ‘I’m really sorry, Top Gear viewers, but please don’t take it out on me, it’s not my fault.’
It seems that it wasn’t his fault, actually – I used ‘allegedly’ purely because the police haven’t nabbed him yet.
Tymon kept schtum about this; it was Clarkson himself who held his hands up to it. Does it make him a hero? Nah – just honest (and possibly because he expected a complaint to be submitted).
Clarkson’s been fantastic for the BBC, despite his delicious share of missteps, recently having to do a bunk from Argentina following the BBC picking a Porsche based on colour – by an interesting stroke of coincidence, he shuttled about in a car with the fantastically coincidental number plate ‘H982 FKL’.
Who’d have believed it was just a coincidence? Aside from nobody.
No matter whether you love him or hate him, Clarkson has been made that show something special. He’s brought up many a future mechanic, while many probably already accredit their love of cars to him. How many of you want Zonda because of him? Be honest.
We’ll find out soon if Clarkson is Top Gear or if Top Gear can sustain itself. Despite the drama though, and the now notorious ‘fracas’… To hell with it, Jezza – take me with you!