By on March 25, 2015

BBC is confirming that Jeremy Clarkson has been dropped from Top Gear.

Personally, I could not care less. Clarkson hasn’t been relevant since his columns became 75 percent irrelevant rambling, 25 percent slapdash car review. I don’t watch Top Gear for the same reason that cops and doctors avoid watching procedural dramas. I blame the show for spawning a breed of armchair automotive expert who ask for your opinion and then tell you why you’re wrong based on what Clarkson said about the car.

But you know what? He is probably the reason I went down this path. His books (Clarkson on Cars, Motorworld) contain some of the best auto writing of all time. Nobody has influenced the current crop of auto writers more than him. More importantly, Clarkson and Top Gear showed that American consumers were willing to pay $11.99 for a printed automobile publication – something that the buff books haven’t quite managed to do.

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142 Comments on “BBC Won’t Renew Jeremy Clarkson’s Contract...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Ultimately I think the BBC is making a mistake with one of their most profitable presenters. The show makes something like $230M a year for the BBC. The other two presenters won’t go on without him (and their contracts are up soon anyway.) This is going to cost them a -lot- of money, for a long time.

    What I think will happen:

    Option 1) The show gets picked up by a different British channel – ITV or Channel4, with a different name. BBC owns the rights to the Top Gear name now, and they aren’t going to let that go. And if they do let it go, it will be a pretty penny. The show will go on as renamed, and most people will be happy.

    Option 2) The show gets picked up by an American channel (Discovery, etc), which will attempt to continue the Top Gear feeling, while competing with American Top Gear (since it’s with the History Channel). This will fail inevitably, for any number of reasons (probably too stingy with the funding) and the show will cease to go on. The presenters get jobs elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The BBC gets about 75% of its revenue through licensing fees that British subjects are forced to pay. As such it operates like any other socialist enterprise run by unaccountable bureaucrats. They don’t need to make shows that people like, and I’m sure firing a popular star is the most satisfying thing a bureaucrat can do.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Right, because the privately held studios,networks and cable giants here in the US do a much better job. It’s why I no longer have the Weather Channel where I live, because the my cable company and the cable company that holds a major interest in the Weather Channel are having a battle over costs. For a network that used to be about weather, but is now mostly reality shows with some weather.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Top Gear is a global cash cow, The Beeb might be a “socialist enterprise”, but it is still an enterprise and TG sells all over the world for big money.

        There will be an accounting. It could, conceivably (although it’s a very, very long shot), even bring down the government. I predict you will see the Tory party getting behind a sacking of the responsible bureaucrat(s).

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Gee bunkie. If you give this a little think you’ll realize that Top Gear being a global cash cow and getting wiped off the map for an HR issue that was used to justify the completion of the BBC’s regularly demonstrated agenda to terminate Clarkson kind of makes my point.

      • 0 avatar
        skog

        Are you blaming socialism for the firing of a man who assaulted his coworker over a meal?

        • 0 avatar
          MPAVictoria

          Sill skog, everything bad everywhere can be blamed on socialism….

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          The problem is that Clarkson doesn’t view the victim as a “co-worker”. Blaming his sacking on “socialism” says something that is very disturbing: that we condone the abuse of others because he’s “successful” or “profitable” or “funny” or any one of a large number of excuses.

          And CJ missed my point entirely. This is the dark side of the cult of the individual: it leads to instances of some thinking that whatever talent they have allows them to abuse those whom they believe to be “inferior”. I would argue that the “bureaucrat” made a painful decision (walking away from the money) to do the right thing. That the hordes of fans cant see past their love of violent, abusive man to see that the sacking thereof was right and justified is a real problem.

          And, finally, the BBC makes a lot of great shows and always has.

          • 0 avatar
            koshchei

            A-fucking-men.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            +1

            A lot of pathetic Clarkson acolytes commenting on other websites are somehow confusing this with some PC campaign by the BBC and those Clarkson has offended with his remarks previously. The man assaulted a coworker in a work setting. Why anyone believes he deserves to keep his job is beyond me, regardless of how much cult persona he has and money he brings in.

          • 0 avatar
            threeer

            Exactly this. While we don’t know all of the facts, it appears that he (JC) did assault both verbally and physically a co-worker. This, after numerous warnings. Will the BBC lose a crap-ton of money? Yep. Will Clarkson, Captain Slow and the Hamster go elsewhere and make a ton more? Yep. But dang it, at some point simply being famous should not trump assaulting a fellow employee. Certainly not an easy decision for the BBC to make, but (for what little it is worth) I support it. Top Gear (more than likely will be called something else when the three of them move) will survive.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Agree. I’ve worked with many that thought they were above everyone else and abuse was to be tolerated by the peons and minions. Corporate cultural belief that the anointed “they” were irreplaceable made the problem worse.

            I have nothing against being politically incorrect but abusing staff either physically or verbally is reprehensible.

            Top Gear needed to clean house. Their program had grown stale and predictable. This will give them the excuse to change and an out if the franchise fails.

        • 0 avatar
          moorewr

          Par for the course…

        • 0 avatar
          Mr. K

          It’s inarguable that if Clarkson was not reliant upon the socialist state he could have well gone to the (semi) free British market and found a seller willing to provide him with food that met his desires.

          It’s clear that this entire episode is due to the never ending search for a free lunch (or , in this case, dinner)

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Option 2 is unlikely for multiple reasons, though vaguely possible only if the UK crew replaces the American crew.

      Considering that Jezza, Richard and James are all Brits, it is highly unlikely that they would run a ‘weekly’ show in the US even if it focused almost strictly on US-built models. They’d still want an ‘unlimited’ budget to drive any supercar they wished and they would remain as irreverent as ever about which could even be considered ‘good’. They’d also have a problem with some of the pans they love to carry about some models being ‘too big for local driving’ when US roads on average handle rigs far larger than most UK and EurAsian locales. What they’d have to do is complain about why most of the cars they loved are too small for American roads. (An argument with which I disagree.)

      I do expect they’ll find a way to rebuild their series; but I doubt it will ever be the same. And maybe that’s a good thing. This last, interrupted season especially became far too obviously scripted from beginning to end. They were much more fun when they just let things happen as they will. (Oliver!)

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Sorry, to be clear my Option 2 meant an American company purchased these three guys, and ran a British-made car show to air in the UK and the US – and compete with Top Gear US. Their dynamic would never work with a US-based show.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      There is no American TV network that will touch Clarkson. Witnesses saw him raging at an underling and referring to him as a ‘F***ing lazy Irish C*********”. among other ethnic slurs. Before physically assaulting him.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I honestly didn’t realize this shows scope until I came on to this website, I honestly thought top gear had about as Many viewers as the hallmark channel has at 2AM.
    Still have no clue what channel it would even be on, but that said BBC isn’t exactly making a wise decision dropping the biggest show (apparently in the world) over an opinion(or whatever) that is clearly not endorsed by the network. BBC has caused more bad press on itself than anyone or publication in the entire world could have done. If they had simply ignored the situation or given a slap on the wrist no one would have noticed.
    On the other hand Clarkson will probably land another job making even more than the BBC would pay, though at half the audience.

    • 0 avatar
      vagvoba

      “over an opinion”??

      Clarkson verbally abused an associate producer for 20 minutes, then physically assaulted him for 30 seconds so that the guy ended up in the ER. All this in a BBC studio, for no good reason and while being drunk.
      I’m a fan of Top Gear, especially the earlier seasons, but there needs to be a boundary that even Clarkson should not be allowed to cross. This time he went way too far, he should be grateful for not being sent to jail over this.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        The producer did not report the incident. Clarkson did. I can see why he is being punished as the behaviour was unacceptable but it is a loss both in financial and entertainment terms. I will miss watching this each week. It is also true that the Guardian readers at the BBC haven`t liked Clarkson for sometime due to his “opinions”.

        Hopefully the pre-filmed material for the remaining 3 episodes can be shown at some point.

        • 0 avatar

          That’s just it. I don’t think it’s so much of a punishment; at least it wouldn’t be if I were making the decision. It’s just that the flip side of having someone so outspoken and irreverent is that things can get violent and out of control. The BBC is no longer prepared to be liable for Clarkson’s unpredictable behavior…and that’s perfectly fair.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          “The producer did not report the incident. Clarkson did.”

          It because of this reason that I think Clarkson wanted the show to end right now. Instead of not excepting a new contract, he punches a producer, reports it himself so he can be fired. Now the show goes out in controversy instead of just running its course.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Clarkson expresses himself with his fists, which therefore makes it a free speech issue. Or something like that.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          You can’t go beating up your coworkers and expect to keep your job. The BBC did the right thing by ending their relationship with this mentally unstable man. I feel sorry for everyone who’ll be effected by this outcome, but the BBC had no choice. If I were the producer who got beat up I would be filing a lawsuit at this very moment

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Unfortunately, this firing ends up making Clarkson look like a martyr of sorts and may even increase his economic value, so it does not end up being punishment. This is not comparable to your average employer-employee relationship, in which canning the offending worker would serve as a bona fide punishment.

            I’m not sure whether it was a realistic option, but it would have preferable to have Clarkson issue a public apology and write a big fat check…er, cheque to the guy who he assaulted.

          • 0 avatar
            Thinkin...

            Maybe it’s a UK/US thing, but the producer has no desire to sue anyone – Clarkson or the BBC. (Even though in the US he’d end up with millions in a settlement.) The poor guy has been with Top Gear for 10 years; he just wants to get out of the spotlight and get back to work.

            Top Gear existed before Clarkson, and it will go on without him. He’ll likely faff about for a bit, have a few ill-fated entertainment opportunities, and then fade into retirement. Hopefully with some grace – although that doesn’t seem to be his strong suit at present.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Top Gear did exist before the current iteration but it was boring and had a fading audience and reputation. It was re-invigorated by the current trio and I wouldn`t predict lightening to strike twice in having an equally successful rebirth.

            Also for those who say Top Gear was crap etc I would point out that there was a push to have the Porsche 918 hybrid, a McLaren and a Ferrari compete in a race. Ferrari wanted to have a “press car” and Top Gear on air said no because Ferrari have a history of “tweaking” their cars. Jack has said the same thing too. Except in this case Ferrari were prepared to relent – shows the power Top Gear had. No other automotive enterprise had that power.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Clarkson allegedly physically assaulted – and battered- a worker, while at work, while calling him a “lazy Irish c**t.”

          I actually like Clarkson, and think Top Gear UK owes its success to his very likeable (except when striking co-workers) personality & good sense of comedic timing, irony & self-deprecation.

          I think firing him for the above assault & battery, if true, is the absolutely right decision. To not do so would be to engage in ultimate hypocrisy.

          Based on reports of the distress Clarkson’s mother’s death and recent divorce have caused him, it would stand to reason Jeremy could benefit from therapy if he hasn’t already engaged in in it.

          He also was on a path of self-destructing behavior, even predicting his employment at the BBC would be short-lived as recently as last year. This is common in people with serious emotional, substance-abuse and other issues.

          I hope he gets the help he clearly needs.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            I disagree.
            I think the issue was a personal one between him the so call victim and the police. I don’t think it even happened on official time.
            If it was taken to court and the resulting guilty verdict effected his contract…then maybe.
            But as it stands…no.
            I don’t like bullies…but then again being an avid viewer of every show…I see Clarkson giving it to himself just as much as everybody else.
            He can take the hit.
            Plus…I love the act. Maybe the show is a lot of reality bunk…but it is my kind of bunk.
            I guess I am thin here. I like this trash show.

          • 0 avatar
            moorewr

            Amen, DeadWeight.

            TrailerTrash: that’s a bizarre standard, and one I hope you never attempt to apply to your own co-workers. However, it is not necessary to pick apart your, ahem, idea, because they were indeed on the clock when Clarkson attacked Tymon.

          • 0 avatar
            spreadsheet monkey

            but what do you think about the gauge cluster on the ATS?

  • avatar
    mitchw

    Judging by his record, Hitler isn’t going to take this well.

  • avatar
    Power6

    I feel like they jumped the shark with TG. I still watch it though, because who else makes a car show like that? No one does. But the obvious fake set ups and gags were a bit tough to take the last oh 5 series.

    Doesn’t change Clarkson’s impression on enthusiasts and journos everywhere and his ability to bring mass appeal to the show. For me bringing a sort of British view “we like these things that are flawed” on motoring was the biggest take away from TG. Its easy to forget how revolutionary the show was when we were watching it for those first 10 series.

    If you like the Motorworld book (I didn’t even know there was one) check out the Motorworld show series Clarkson did sometime in the 90s it was fascinating.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      I think it was called Jeremy Clarkson Meets the Neighbo(u)rs and it was very good. A co-worker had it on PAL VHS and lent me a PAL TV/VCR combo to watch it.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    All 3 will probably go to another network and make just as much or more money.
    However predicting the future is a mugs game.

    The key to their future success will be finding a network that will be willing to provide them with budgets as large or larger than they currently have. It is not an inexpensive show to produce.

    They may even have to change their track as it is assumed that the BBC retains rights to its use?

    By moving to another network they may lose some of their freedom as with the BBC they did not have to worry about offended auto makers pulling their advertising.

    Top Gear is family entertainment, disguised as an auto show. Travelogue, reality show, comedy, and a take off on the Hope/Crosby road shows/buddy trip movies all rolled into one.

    It almost seems by his actions that Clarkson was trying to force the BBC into getting rid of him. We in Canada had an incident last year with a big media ‘personality’ on our public broadcaster. Jian Ghomeshi was eventually sacked when revelations about his inappropriate actions, including alleged sexual harassment became public.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      I listen to Q and from what it sounds like, CBC did the right thing.

    • 0 avatar
      WildcatMatt

      My wife and I were big fans of Moxy Fruvous back in the day before Jian went on to make a living on the talk show circuit — in fact, I have a picture of us meeting him after a show. But even back then there were whispers in fandom that you didn’t go back to his hotel room after the show.

  • avatar

    Top Gear was only interesting when they were reviewing new cars or doing direct drag races. Most of the time it was BORING and heavily biased.

    On Youtube, several dozen users have basically cribbed Top Gear’s style and focused on the aspects of the show they liked.

    I have a job offer waiting for him if he’s interested.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Boring in those areas only if you regarded it as an automotive show.

      It was destination viewing for my wife and teenage daughters, not based on the cars but on the entertainment value.

      That is why it got the big ratings. Clarkson professed no understanding of the engineering and they mocked this whenever May tried to speak about the actual workings of an auto. A pure auto show is doomed to appeal only to enthusiasts.

      But then, I think that you know and understand that commentary and attitude sell.

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        Agree with Arthur. My family watches it and my daughter loves it. I credit Top Gear with getting my wife interested in cars. She loved her old Volvo 240, and now uses words like “understeer” semi-correctly and loves Aston Martins. My 12 year old daughter can recognize most vehicles.

        Yes, it’s a fun, funny show most of all, and not really serious about cars, but it is still centered on cars. In an era where young kids are saying “why bother getting a license” I think losing it would be significant. I hope the three of them take their talents elsewhere, and the British public will need to make up the funding that kept the other shows they watch on the air.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        +1. My wife would watch Top Gear with me and could care less about the cars.

        However, the only time she would watch, let’s say, Motorweek, is when we were actively shopping for a car.

        • 0 avatar
          Zoom

          On a recent Saturday or Sunday, a channel aired a bunch of the “Travelogue” episodes as a marathon. The style where they spend the entire show traveling a third-world country, generally being silly. My wife watched four or five in a row with me, and she generally dislikes British comedy, and has no interest in cars in general.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        exactly! it has become soooo much more than just an auto geek show. I it is really top entertainment now.
        the very top of the Hollywood elite visit the show.

        and what ever happened to forgiveness?

        What ever happened to going to rehab???
        I guess you really have to hit a woman, cheat on your wife or overdose on drugs and then get yourself to a rehab resort…THEN all is forgiven.
        Isn’t this the real entertainment route?

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      You have a job waiting for him?

      ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

      Right, the multimillionaire from a even more multimillionaire family wants to make bad YouTube videos for 500 bucks a month?

      You haven’t a clue what you’re on about, and an ego that might match Clarkson’s when he’s suffering from a bout of flu and resting in bed with a temperature of 103. But probably not.

      LOL.

  • avatar
    Silent Ricochet

    Bad call by the BBC. People will stop watching in droves. They’ll lose millions of viewers. Why?

    No one takes car buying advice from Top Gear, especially Jeremy. Clarkson would usually bring up several good points when reviewing a car but 85% of it was just pure entertainment… Entertainment. That’s the key word. He was entertaining. His attitude, his charisma. It was hilarious. Hammond and May are pretty essential to the show’s success as well. The group’s chemistry is top notch. But Clarkson was the staple of the show. The unreasonable, slightly offensive, unorthodox, reckless, ham-fisted, douchey “gorilla” that apparently the entire world loved to watch. Now I have to go every Monday without watching my favorite show. I can only hope he starts a new show somewhere else.

    How the BBC could overreact so badly is beyond me. I understand assaulting and berating you’re producer isn’t what I’d call acceptable but I believe this could’ve been handled in a different way.

  • avatar
    harshciygar

    I’m glad Clarkson got sacked.

    Too often, celebrities are allowed to do whatever the hell they want to us regular folks, with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

    Came you imagine trying to work with a guy who had basically been granted immunity to verbally and physically abuse other staffers?

    The second Clarkson laid a hand on the producer, it was over. Yelling and screaming is one thing, but assaulting a guy because you can’t have your steak and fries?

    What an absolute twat.

    • 0 avatar

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      It was a cut lip, not exactly a full on violent assault – still wrong but lets not blow it out of proportion.

      • 0 avatar
        harshciygar

        Apparently it was violent enough to get the highest-rated presenter in the largest media company in the world fired.

        I only wish the guy had fought back and knocked Jezza on his ass.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Smart that he didn’t fight back, makes the lawsuit so much easier to win

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            What lawsuit? The producer didn`t even file a complaint. Clarkson reported himself to the BBC. The producer has issued a statement in which he says he has enjoyed the 10 years they have worked together. There will be no lawsuit.

            It was an assault, but there are graduations – murder, serious and permanent disability etc all the way down to a split lip and an ice pack.

      • 0 avatar
        Zoom

        Assault is violent, by definition. In the real world, people get fired for that sort of thing, regardless of the severity.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Assault does not necessarily require physical contact. The fear or threat of violence/injury and the means to carry it out along with a negative effect on the recipient is enough.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Agreed. Extra kudos to the BBC for firing the man for blatantly thuggish behavior despite his profitability. Everyone can be principled when it doesn’t cost them anything.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @harshciygar: Agreed. It’s about time.

      I can’t believe it’s even a question among the B&B, who keep going on about the BBC’s rainmaker, or whatever.

      This isn’t even a car topic, or a celebrity topic; it’s a simple personnel issue.

      If you’ve got the stomach, you can read Piers Morgan’s defense of his frenemy Jeremy Clarkson. I’ve never liked either one of them, and Piers validates my impression that they’re both oafish drunk degenerates.
      http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/home/event/article-3002568/PIERS-MORGAN-Jeremy-Clarkson-like-50-angst-ridden-damaged-relationships-grieving-loved-ones-irritated-work-related-issues-battling-inner-demons.html

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Eat English Muff

    TG was circling the drain for the last two seasons.

    It’s time for the next big innovation and revival of the genre.

    Out with the old & in with the new.

    Maybe a Punjabi automotive show featuring Bollywood songs called “Sow’s Ear?”

    A Compton tuner special called “Bangers Scare?”

    A Nova Scotia ‘motoring’ show with Tim Cain called “ADM Window Sticker’s Here! “?”

    A Bertel Schmitt BDSM-Carmashup in gearhead dungeon called “Hentai Manja With Bertel – Never Fear?”

    Stay tuned.

    • 0 avatar
      skog

      Top Gear died with the India special. They went to one of the most exciting countries on earth and produced the exact same, boring old jokes they did ten years earlier.

      The Argentina special was even worse, just plain boring.

      And of course he knew the lisence plate would piss people off.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      You forgot the real winner of a new TV Show:

      Deadweight on Cadillac – A Roof-Crushing Tirade from America’s heartland.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I could do a show skewering Cadillac & Jaguar with a gopro and it would be wildly successful.

        “Look at them friggin’ gauges & dat tarded seat stitching, non-responsive haptic CUE controls, & let me roll me window down so you can hear that pepper grinder of a motor, mate! This here CTS costs all of 58 GRAND, and me ain’t even sh!ttin’ yuze, eitha’ !”

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Meh…Top Gear UK jumped the shark years ago as it is.

    It’s time to stir the pot anyway – it’s probably run it’s course in the format as it exists.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    The guy was an entertaining assh*le, but still an assh*le. No one should have to put up with that. Life goes on.

  • avatar
    Pan

    As obnoxious as he could appear, the Show’s adventures in Patagonia, through the Alps, North to Scandanavia, racing the Blue Train, and finding the source of the Nile were all very entertaining, and certainly heads above most television.
    Like it or not, Clarkson was the show.

    • 0 avatar
      Steinweg

      I agree. How many times have they tried to pump up Top Gear USA? Without the lads it doesn’t work, and without Clarkson, the lads don’t work. He is a massive pillock though.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        I haven’t watched Top Gear USA since it started because it’s so awful. It’s a basic cable rehash of a show with a nearly unlimited budget and three hosts that have some sort of magic together. There’s zero magic in Top Gear USA.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        The problem with the American version of the show was the choice of hosts. While I don’t expect any triad to have quite the same personalities of the UK trio, they could have done a lot better by saving Tanner as the “Stig” and someone else to be the “Captain Slow” of the bunch. He proved his abilities (or lack thereof) by crashing his truck in the one episode and breaking his arm. As insane as the UK trio were, they never had quite that ridiculous of an incident. (Yes, I know Richard Hammond) was nearly killed in that Jet Car crash, but that also wasn’t one of their road adventures, either.)

        So, replace Tanner with a true automotive reviewer rather than a professional driver and replace the comedian with someone more like Hammond. That would effectively ‘fix’ the American Top Gear show.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “Top Who”? Couldn’t care less about this show.

    I have tried to watch “Top Gear” in the past, but TV shows about cars are hard to take for me, especially when the people on these shows look like criminals and have limited vocabulary that results in bleep after bleep – real or not – it’s annoying and results in being unwatchable for me.

    Even though Jeremy Clarkson may not look like a criminal, he and his like are not individuals I want to be associated with.

    Although some of the things they did were cool and interesting, the characters ruined it for me.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “Even though Jeremy Clarkson may not look like a criminal…”

      ‘ee looks like the dodgy crim ‘an Repton School dropout who would nick yer pudding ‘an yer rims, ‘ee does.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      Who on Top Gear looks like or acts like a criminal? Or, before this incident, was accused of anything remotely criminal? And Top Gear isn’t censored that much, not compared to any of the other trash called entertaining television.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        I wasn’t referring to Clarkson specifically as looking like a “criminal”, but I was lumping all TV car shows in with “Top Gear”, specifically the goofballs on “Fast & Loud”.

        As for the “criminal” comment, someone on here alluded to the host or main guy on that show as “the least criminal-looking”, being used by Chrysler posing with and promoting the Hellcat Challenger sometime back.

        Good reason why I don’t watch much TV.

        • 0 avatar
          Boxer2500

          Fast and Loud… blecch. See my comment below.

          As for the “criminal” remark, I can only assume whoever said it was joking. Hammond and May are both clean cut and well dressed. I suppose they could pass for white collar criminals.

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          Yeah,the only thing that Top Gear UK and Fast N Loud have in common is cars are part of the show. I don’t watch much TV either, but I’m not going to lump those shows together as the same kind of show.

          Now, Top Gear USA is a different story, but still not the “show” that Fast N Loud is. I’ve watched it before and I like the stuff they build, I just hate the “entertainment” aspect of it.

    • 0 avatar
      Boxer2500

      “I have tried to watch “Top Gear” in the past, but TV shows about cars are hard to take for me, especially when the people on these shows look like criminals and have limited vocabulary that results in bleep after bleep – real or not – it’s annoying and results in being unwatchable for me.”

      I’m not sure what show you were watching, but it wasn’t Top Gear. I stopped watching a few seasons ago when the scripting became too obvious, but I never recall hearing an excess of profanity and the presenters look like typical upper class Englishmen.

      Your description certainly fits at least a dozen trashy car flipping/rebuilding “reality” shows that clog up the airwaves (cablewaves?) on Velocity, however. Note to producers: More focus on the actual work, not some f-bomb filled fake argument. Wheeler Dealers and Chasing Classic Cars are the only ones who get it right.

  • avatar
    Marcus36

    He verbally abused and physically assaulted a colleague at work during work hours, that gets you fired everywhere, he got what he deserved.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      That typically gets you fired. Not always. Kudos to the BBC for doing the right thing. They knew it would cost them, but did it anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      it wasn’t at work or during working hours.
      please, folks…this is getting worse than a CNN report.

      • 0 avatar
        moorewr

        You are confused, TrailerTrash.

        Here is the BBC’s official statement:
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/statements/jeremy-clarkson-dg-statement

        Note the link to the full report on the incident at the end of the statement.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    Never watched Top Gear for car buying advice for the same reason I don’t read Car & Driver for car buying advice. It’s entertainment pure and simple. It made me laugh because I wasn’t sitting there nitpicking every frame… I poured a drink after a long Monday, kicked my feet up, and laughed for a while. I will miss it.

    Hopefully Netflix will pounce on this opportunity.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Might also be noted that “not renewing contract” is very different from “firing.”

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      It was essentially the same thing. Also cheaper for the BBC since the contract expires at the end of March.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I do not concur. Pick which you’d rather: fired, or no contract renewal. One carries a much heavier negative connotation, and would have lasting effects on a (normal person’s) career. As well as lost wages, benefits, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        no it is not. plus…this could be a fake. BBC might have wanted an out since the contract negotiations were entirely in the hands of all three holding out as a threesome force.
        they might be trying to just come out looking good.

        in any case…they fail. these guys will stick together and start another round of hit shows on another network.

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    I wonder how many of the people who’ve decided that any physical altercation at work is immediate grounds for dismissal have held a job that combines A) extraordinary hours, B) extraordinary physical demands, C) extremely close working relationships, and D) drinking.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Good point.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Good point but…

        This isn’t exactly two tradesmen, construction workers or office workers having it out over a long,hard day working together or butting heads on some project. Clarkson was the star, the producer was not. It’s the powerful rich guy beating on the guy with the lesser position than him. Apparently, from some things I’ve read, this isn’t the first time this guy had pissed Clarkson off. Doesn’t excuse the outcome, but it’s not like it “just happened”

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          I’m not convinced this can be turned into a class-struggle issue. Sounds more as though one person simply pushed another past their breaking point.

          I’ve had low blood sugar after a 16+ hour day and can sympathize with overreacting to a simple need not being met.

          • 0 avatar
            MPAVictoria

            Then you my friend, are a violent jerk.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            That wasn’t my point exactly. Your original reply implied that fights at work leading to physical altercations are common in most jobs involving long days and tight working conditions. I’ve had arguments and irrational outbursts, many when I’m hungry and tired, but I’ve never resorted to fists. Now, beating on inanimate objects…

            Maybe not quite class struggle, but he hit “just” a producer who made him angry. The “talent” hit the “help”. Someone in a position greater than the person who made the mistake, took their anger out on the person in the lesser position physically.

            Would the story be different if Clarkson had hit Hammond or May or the director? Would people want to see him continue on TG if that was the case? Could it continue if that were the case?

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            “Then you my friend, are a violent jerk.”

            Since you know me so well, speaking of overreacting.

            I actually haven’t punched anyone for not producing my dinner, though I’ve seen others hit with fluorescent lights, had extension cords, 2x4s and bricks aimed at my own person, and certainly done my share of yelling.

            Violence isn’t a good thing at all whenever there’s another option, and there almost always is. Certainly if you’re just a fat, hungry TV star under no threat. I didn’t condone anything; but I’ve seen much worse than an old, unfit man flailing at a much younger unfit man settled with hugs and beer.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Brenschluss,
      I’ve done A-C of your list. Never been tempted to punch anyone in the face. And B is ridiculous, there are people out there doing real physically exhausting work. I’m in a field where A-C are common and real and we simply do not put up with physical altercations. You do it, you’re gone.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      brenschluss – I’ve worked most of my life in jobs that fall under those first 3 criteria. Heavy drinking……. well……… you can add that one if “social binge drinking” counts (getting drunk at a party).

  • avatar

    I’ve learned not to be concerned with whether other people get karmic justice for their wrongdoings. We as humans spend far too much energy wishing karmic “justice” on each other. My main concern is the preservation of myself and other people. So if I wanted someone put in jail, it’d be because he was a real danger to society, not so that he could “suffer”. And so it is with Clarkson. Yes, he’s been an absolute jerk, but to me, it’s only necessary that he be removed from the BBC because the company can’t afford to be liable for his boorish, dangerous behavior any longer…not so that he can be punished. Yes, his “brand” has probably been made more desirable by this whole incident and it may be rather profitable for him; I’m fine with that. What I wouldn’t be fine with is him putting someone in the hospital when someone could and should have prevented it.

    So for me, I’m only sad to see Clarkson go, because Top Gear was entertaining and it won’t be the same without him, and definitely not if Hammond and May also decline to go forward. But the BBC’s course of action was just natural and necessary.

  • avatar
    carrya1911

    We all know what really happened here. Ferrari, desperate to avoid a head-to-head comparison with Porsche and McClaren sent highly trained operatives to taint Clarkson’s food and drink with testosterone from the most aggressive bull in all of Italy. Their gambit worked.

    It’s been said never trust a Greek bearing gifts. Well add to that list never trust Italians trying to market an absurdly expensive supercar.

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    I’d be very surprised if Clarkson’s only interest in Top Gear is as on screen talent. If so, that will be a huge influence on what comes next for the show as well as what he does next.

    While I agree that Top Gear has become a bit stale and predictable, there’s still nothing else out there that comes close.

    I view the parade of vehicles crafted from unobtanium dispassionately. Nevertheless, the sniffing, condescension and disdain frequently proffered on these pages and others is, in some respects, as juvenile as the Top Gear hijinks themselves.

    It is possible to enjoy TG for what it is. Like it or not, it is necessary to respect TG for the place it holds in the automotive and media industries. Disagree? Go ahead and name any other forum that can command the participation of so many boutique marques.

    Qualitative discussions are all fair and good, but outright dismissal from fellow journo’s is mostly about envy. And as much as I enjoy Jack’s work 97% of the time, his recent piece about Clarkson’s suspension deserved to be accompanied by a saucer of milk.

    For my part, I hope we get a reinvigorated Top Gear UK and that Clarkson finds something interesting to do that is more than just a vanity project.

    • 0 avatar
      wolfinator

      I don’t mean to be condescending to TG. I think it was brilliant. I also think the idea of a motoring show for the masses, carried by the chemistry and interactions of it’s presenters, is a feat hard to pull off.

      However, I also think that all good things must come to an end. There’s an upside to TG ended while still strong, and not just meandering along until one or two of the presenter’s arthritis ends the show.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    This giant arrogant baby hit a producer for half a minute because he didn’t have a hot meal for him. Hit the showers Jer-bear, it’s all finally caught up to you.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I think from reading that the hot meal was just the straw that broke the camels back. It had been a long, hard day by accounts.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        Oh please…..we all have “long hard days”, and even worse days than Clarkson could ever imagine in his wildest dreams. Remember: He doesn’t do manual labor.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          +1 After all my “long hard days” and like everyone else I’ve had my share, I don’t once remember beating anyone up because of them, not even once

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “It had been a long, hard day by accounts.”

        The article from the Telegraph I read on this had the following quote:

        “Clarkson was furious to find that there was no hot meal available when he and his co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond returned from a drinking session at a nearby pub.”

        Is your empathy for him strengthened or weakened by that?

  • avatar
    jmo

    Well, the other thing that I liked about Top Gear is they often bought these cars with their own money. So, you can say they are biased but at least they are actually in the market for the products they review.

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      I like that they even bought some of their beaters too. The supercars are fun, but watching them hoon tired old cars across the country or a continent were the most fun.

  • avatar
    jmo

    If it were up to me I’d have Clarkson pay the guy $500k and apologize. If your boss punched you would you want him fired or would you want $500k? I know what I’d say.

  • avatar

    I don’t care how “great” you are. You don’t beat up your co workers. You teach kids not to hit, why not multimillionaire adults ?

    Really, you lost your zillionare job because a producer offered you a sandwich instead of steak frites ? Early onset Alzheimers ?

    I will miss him spinning expensive michelins off a car that costs more than my house, thought….

    moron.

    Oh, and Top Gear is the single most bootlegged program on the internet, so I’m told.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Eh, maybe it’s just me, but when I was growing up, if you got in a fight, you fought back and if you got beaten you either sucked it up like a man, or learned to fight better so you could win the next time. Now we have a society full of pansies that want to cry and run to the hospital and sue people. I sadly am old enough to remember when airlines has good food and all you needed for a contract was trust and shaking of hands. It is sad how women today are becoming more like men than the men are, working out, looking like men while the men sit on the couch and play video games and watch other people do physical activities.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      There’s no lawsuit. He’s just out. He should be. If the producer had knocked Clarkson on his drunken arse, then the BEEB would have to hire a battery of lawyers.

    • 0 avatar
      wolfinator

      Clarkson? Is that you???

    • 0 avatar
      ExPatBrit

      Venom V12 .

      WTF?

      Verbal stuff meh, but fisticuffs is way out of order.

      Clarkson is not a small guy, 6 foot 5 inches tall.

      Problem is not requiring people to fight back it’s excusing celebrities for violent behavior.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      “but when I was growing up, if you got in a fight, you fought back and if you got beaten you either sucked it up like a man, or learned to fight better so you could win the next time.”

      The key part of that phrase is “when you were growing up”. Resolving conflict via violence is a sign of immaturity. Grown-ups have learned better ways and self-restraint. How do you think things would have worked out for the producer had he retaliated and punched out Clarkson, the big TV star? Would the bosses have considered the instigating behavior and told Clarkson to “suck it up”?

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        “Resolving conflicts via violence is a sign of immaturity” says the guy who I assume lives in this country which is always resolving conflicts via violence, often in multiple countries at a time. The best and brightest adults in the world have been resolving conflicts via violence since the very beginning of the Bible and will continue to do so until the sun burn out. That’s reality.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem

          https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/appeal-to-nature

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          “The best and brightest adults in the world have been resolving conflicts via violence since the very beginning of the Bible”

          Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent (props to Asimov). By definition someone who resolves conflict via violence is not the best and brightest. Who’s brighter, the guy who punches a producer because dinner is late, or the guy who makes it clear that the producer who brings dinner late will be replaced?

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          And V12, you failed to answer my question. What would happen to a producer who met Clarkson’s violence with equal violence the way you want to handle these events?

        • 0 avatar
          MPAVictoria

          PS I am not a crank

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          VenomV12 – “The best and brightest adults in the world have been resolving conflicts via violence since the very beginning of the Bible and will continue to do so until the sun burn out. That’s reality.”

          You are obviously in favour of the tactics employed by ISIL,Khmer Rouge, and um not that I am invoking Godwin’s law…….Hitler.

          The doctrine of “might is right” has lost its lustre in a world darkened by “MAD”… Mutually Assured Destruction”.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Let me guess, when you were growing up Mom sent you to school with a bologna sandwich and a Lucky Strike?

      In the past 10 years fighting wars went from manned aircraft to unmanned aircraft and even cyber warfare.

      Try keeping up with the times.

      BTW fighting at WORK has never been acceptable, regardless of century you’re living in.

  • avatar
    wolfinator

    I really liked Top Gear – about 8 seasons ago. Judging by the comments, other people are not turned off by what I perceive as formulaic and occasionally forced.

    Look on the bright side: the show went out on a high note. I think every TV show has a lifespan, and that lifespan is rarely more than 8-10 seasons. Stretch it past that, and it becomes stale.

    And purely personal taste, but I found the super-car segments to be the most boring part of the show. There’s only so many times you can show me a car I will never get to touch – much less drive – before I get bored. I think that as their budget and clout increased, the show became less clever and interesting. Just my 2c.

  • avatar
    redav

    Meh.

    The guy rubs me the wrong way and I dislike Top Gear specifically because of him.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3011547/Piers-Morgan-Dear-Jeremy-big-mistake-hitting-loyal-hard-working-producer-not-again.html

    Heres an article by one of the BBC producers on the incident.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Piers Morgan is/was a presenter of his own news-type show. He is not a producer of Top Gear.

      That being said, I had no idea Jeremy’s mom had died. She seemed fun a few years ago on that episode with the mom’s reviewing cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Thanks for the clarifying

        After the last few episodes of Top Gear I could tell the show was close to the end, just lots of recycled ideas and the hosts didnt seem as into it.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Piers Morgan is an arrogant oaf whose CNN show couldn’t stay afloat because it devolved into his own personal editorial program about America’s gun problems. He abused any guests who disagreed with him as though he was hosting a wresting circus.

      His viewership numbers became so laughable that CNN canned the show, and he returned to England with his tail down. He simply became unable to do the job, which involved performing some actual journalism about a wide range of topics, rather than making it about himself.

      He and Clarkson are frenemies (Clarkson hit him once, too), but they’re similarly boorish. Good riddance to both of them, I say.

  • avatar
    matador

    Top Gear was one of my favorite programs. A few years ago, when everything seemed to be falling down around me, Top Gear was one of the only things that I was able to enjoy in life. Back then, it was clever, funny, and was a show that I could really like. I think that Clarkson, Hammond, and May moving to another network will be a good change, though. There just wasn’t the same zing to the show at the end. The challenges were the only part that I really enjoyed- I couldn’t care less about their stars in cars, or Lamborghini reviews. Recently, the only episode that truly stood out to me was the ambulance one. It reminded me of “vintage” Top Gear, though it was obviously scripted.

    Sadly, Top Gear ended in boring car reviews and basically drawing male parts on things. That’s not the Top Gear that I knew… and still love.

  • avatar
    carnick

    Like pretty much everyone here, and the 350 million Top Gear viewers around the world (and the 1 million who signed the petition to BBC to bring Clarkson back), I’m a huge fan of the show and the magazine. I’ve been watching (and reading) for years, and love it.

    But, IMHO, Clarkson has evolved into a narcissistic, egomaniacal asshat. He used to be funny, then semi-amusing in a biting way, and in recent years, just a jerk. I would find myself stepping away from the television while he was talking. Hammond and May, albeit with very different personalities, continued to show that you can both entertain and be funny, and convey good stuff about cars, without being a jerk.

    As others have wisely said, assault and battery crosses a line (and in the U.S. would have been a multi-million dollar lawsuit, he should be grateful he’s in England). Unlike in the U.S., where ‘affluenza’ is an accepted excuse to get you off when committing serious crimes, England seems to still respect the rule of law, and recognizes that you can’t have different standards regardless of how much money someone is worth or make for the BBC.

    Everything ends. His ego got too big for even him to control. I like Hammond and May better, and the show could go on just fine without Clarkson.Let’s see if it does.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    On that bombshell- that really sucks! What’s Top Gear UK without Clarkson???

  • avatar
    AH-1WSuperCobra

    I’ve had a subscription to the Top Gear magazine for a couple of years now and it’s great. A little while back I got Motor Trend, Car and Driver, and Automobile at $20 for the trio and they shouldn’t even call them magazines anymore. US magazines are more like pamphlets these days. I think all three were about as thick as one Top Gear and that one had hardly any ads.

    As for the show I’m a huge fan and I even really like the US version. If you want to see bad go on YouTube and try to watch and episode of Top Gear Australia.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do like Top Gear as it is very entertaining. I even think Jeremy Clarkson has done a great job on Top Gear.

    But, punching or hitting your boss or co-worker isn’t an acceptable act. I do think this incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    We don’t know all of the politics that goes on behind the scenes at Top Gear.

    From this last incident I do think that Jeremy Clarkson was a little bit of a prima donna, considering everything around him is for him.

    Punching someone concerning not having a steak at the end of the day. The sad part is Jeremy Clarkson would earn enough money to hail a cab and go to the flashest restaurant in whatever location he was in.

    I’ve had days at work where myself and my crew were promised “mealtime” but our workload was to large and we never had the time to have our meal.

    My guys didn’t punch me or I didn’t punch my boss. There is plenty of whining.

  • avatar
    skor

    Clarkson is a big, loutish, narcissistic man-child. He is entertaining, like chimps that fling their own poo at zoo visitors are entertaining. Unfortunately, he thinks we are living in Dickensian times where it’s acceptable for superiors to beat the subordinates. Bye-bye Jeremy. Take the millions you’ve made from a government run network, which is supported by mandatory TV license fees imposed on the public, back to the home you purchased on the Isle of Man so as to avoid taxes, and stay there.

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