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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

BBC Axes Jeremy Clarkson


The Director General of the BBC, Lord (Tony) Hall of Birkenhead, today announced that the Corporation would not be renewing the contract of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

Clarkson, who had fronted the popular BBC Two motoring show since 2002, was suspended a fortnight ago following allegations that he had thumped and verbally abused producer Oisin Tymon. You can read more about the incident in our earlier article.

Ken McQuarrie, the Director of BBC Scotland, was appointed to lead the Corporation's internal investigation into Clarkson's conduct. To that end Mr McQuarrie conducted a series of interviews with witnesses and others connected with the incident, including both Clarkson and Tymon.

The BBC has released a document summarising the key findings and conclusions of Mr McQuarrie's investigation.

He concludes: "On 4th March 2015 Oisin Tymon was subject to an unprovoked physical and verbal attack by Jeremy Clarkson.

"During the physical attack Oisin Tymon was struck, resulting in a swelling and bleeding to his lip.

"The verbal abuse was sustained over a longer period, both at the time of the physical attack and subsequently."

Drilling down into the finer detail of Mr McQuarrie's report, he notes the following facts:
  • On 4th March studio recording of Top Gear had taken place in Surrey and the presenters had travelled that same evening to a location shoot in North Yorkshire.
  • The incident occurred on a patio area of the Simonstone Hall Hotel, where Oisin Tymon was working on location for Top Gear.
  • The physical attack lasted around 30 seconds and was halted by the intervention of a witness.
  • It is the case that Oisin Tymon offered no retaliation.
  • The verbal abuse was directed at Oisin Tymon on more than one occasion - both during the physical attack and subsequently in the hotel - and contained the strongest expletives and threats to sack him. The abuse was at such volume as to be heard in the dining room, and the shouting was audible in a hotel bedroom.
  • Derogatory and abusive language, relating to Oisin Tymon and other members of the Top Gear team, continued to be used by Jeremy Clarkson inside the hotel, in the presence of others, for a sustained period of time.
  • It is clear that Oisin Tymon was shocked and distressed by the attack, and believed that he had lost his job.
  • Following the attack, it is understood that Oisin Tymon drove to a nearby A&E department for examination.
  • Over subsequent days, Jeremy Clarkson made a number of attempts to apologise to Oisin Tymon by way of text, email and in person.
  • It is the case that Jeremy Clarkson reported the incident to BBC management.

Lord Hall said: "It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract.

"It is not a decision I have taken lightly. I have done so only after a very careful consideration of the facts and after personally meeting both Jeremy and Oisin Tymon.

"I am grateful to Ken MacQuarrie for the thorough way he has conducted an investigation of the incident on 4th March.

"Given the obvious and very genuine public interest in this I am publishing the findings of his report. I take no pleasure in doing so. I am only making them public so people can better understand the background.

"I know how popular the programme is and I also know that this decision will divide opinion. The main facts are not disputed by those involved."

8 comments:

Admin said...

If you're a Roman warrior and expecting to see your comment here, then I'm afraid as it contained the word "death" and the name of a well-known BBC personality, I'm not going to risk publishing it.

I know it was just a figure of speech, but any BBC leg-humpers reading it might take offence!

Anonymous said...

People need to simply see this situation for what it is: Jeremy Clarkson is a violent bully.

His reasons for acting in X Y Z manner are completely irrelevant and serve only to excuse his violent bullying behaviour.

Perhaps he should work for Capita?

Richard said...

This is a stupid ending to a stupid incident, but I don't see how the BBC could have done anything else. I'm annoyed, but mostly at Mr Clarkson for (allegedly) using his fists instead of his brain. So, Auntie, I suppose you're off the hook on this issue. Since you view (alleged) assault so seriously, presumably you take an even harder line with child abuse... so why not increase the compensation being paid to Savile's victims?

John Galt said...

The BBC’s Director General Tony Hall was quite right to sack an employee when said employee has been given numerous warnings about unacceptable behaviour and then launches a drunken, verbal and physical assault on another employee.

If you take their money, you also take their rules – don’t like it? you’re always free to quit.

Many have argued that Jeremy Clarkson is the core talent of Top Gear and brings in millions in global revenues to the BBC and all of that is true, but notwithstanding. If he had been a Sky presenter, Rupert Murdoch would have fired him too.

But this is where the public and private sector diverge, because Rupert Murdoch would have sacked Clarkson, using pretty much the same rationale as Hall or any decent CEO, but then licensed Top Gear to an independent production company while retaining editorial control. Net result, Top Gear would still be on TV, millions would still be happy and revenues would still be earned.

However, the BBC can’t easily do that and as a consequence the Top Gear brand and the massive global revenue that it brings in is threatened.

Time for the BBC to be broken down into its constituent components and the vast majority (probably news, politics and children programming excepted) privatized.

Götter Dämmerung said...

In effect the BBC have simply chosen not to renew Clarksons contact which was up at the end of this month anyway so the use of the term "sacked" is moot.

Personally I'm glad this squalid and boring little saga has finally played out and we can get back to discussing the real issues regarding the unfairness of the TV Licence system instead of being sidetracked with stories such as this.

Unknown said...

All TV Licence Refuseniks need to appraise themselves of 30 minute exposé of the man who sacked Jeremy Clarkson:

"Educating Rona #2: The Unspoken BBC-Guardian Alliance"

http://youtu.be/8Ml1bG-8Ab4

Watch it all the way through for full effect.

Julwz Crown said...

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/76056

Sack Jeremy now sack TV licence sign please and share

Anonymous said...

Stop these silly threats to cancel your TV licence, just do it like what I did! Only had it to watch Jeremy, James and Richard. Go on vote with your money, it is a democracy you know, just ask any politician.