Following reports of an "unprovoked physical and verbal attack," BBC has officially dropped Jeremy Clarkson as host of Top Gear. (Technically, BBC simply decided not to renew his contract, which ends this month, but the reasons are clear.)
Top Gear is a global sensation. Though it first aired in 1977, the show as it's known today launched in 2002 after Clarkson and producer Andy Wilman pitched a new format to the BBC. The show now airs in over 200 countries and is one of BBC's most profitable shows, according to Reuters. The BBC itself estimates a worldwide audience of 350 million.
Gutted at such a sad end to an era. We're all three of us idiots in our different ways but it's been an incredible ride together.— Richard Hammond (@RichardHammond) March 25, 2015
Clarkson has a history of stirring up controversy for comments related to race, mental health, and various governments, among others. (Here's the full Wikipedia page, if you're interested in a long read.) This most recent example centers around an instance that Clarkson reportedly assaulted Top Gear producer Oison Tymon both physically and verbally.
It's not clear yet if Top Gear cohosts James May or Richard Hammond will stay on the show. Speaking to Sky News after news broke, May described the trio as a "package that works for very complicated reasons... As much as I think he's a knob, I quite like working with Jeremy." No word from the Stig, per usual.
The three have, however, updated their Twitter account. Clarkson is (officially) a former presenter, May is calling himself one (although no official announcement has otherwise been given), and Hammond is... something. He can't explain it really.
(Here's a must-read from SB Nation: Top Gear is dead)
Reporters outside my house: if you're going to hang around on small streets with your car engines idling all day, don't buy a bloody diesel.— James May (@MrJamesMay) March 25, 2015
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