On Tuesday, BBC announced that it has suspended Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson after a “fracas” with a producer. The broadcaster said no one else has been suspended and that Top Gear will not be shown on Sunday.
The word “fracas” is defined as a noisy quarrel, brawl or fight. BBC did not offer a lot of other information in its official statement, so it was initially unclear if Clarkson was involved in a physical fight or a verbal one. However, more details surfaced after the suspension was announced. According to several sources, Clarkson was suspended for allegedly hitting a producer. The incident reportedly occurred last week, but BBC only found out on Monday. The broadcaster immediately took action on Tuesday.
Sources also said that the episode for March 15 is not the only one that will be postponed. The next two episodes, slated to be shown in March 22 and 29, also have been canceled. Moreover, it is unlikely that BBC will air the final episode of the series.
The March 15 Top Gear episode was supposed to put the spotlight on classic rides such as a MGB GT, a Fiat 124 Spider and a Peugeot 304 Cabriolet. It was also supposed to feature former England footballer Gary Lineker “in a reasonably priced car.”
BBC mentioned it would not offer any other comments on the matter. Clarkson, his manager and assistant could not be reached for comment. But the 54-year-old outspoken TV personality was present on Twitter, making light of the situation. Hours after the suspension was made public, Clarkson and his co-hosts offered suggestions about what movie BBC should broadcast in place of Top Gear. James May wanted BBC to broadcast “633 Squadron,” but Clarkson suggested “Where Eagles Dare” instead. Richard Hammond disapproved, offering “Last of the Summer Wine,” saying that nobody will notice the difference.
The trio has been hosting Top Gear since 2002. Top Gear is not only one of the most popular BBC programs, but also one of the world’s most loved programs. The motoring show has been honored by the Guinness World Records as the most-watched factual TV show of all time. The show is currently in its 22nd season.
Clarkson is no stranger to controversy. Just last year, the host found himself in hot water after a leaked video footage showed him using the n-word while reciting the “Eeny, Meeny, Miny Moe” nursery rhyme during filming. He revealed in his Sun newspaper column that BBC told him he will be sacked if he made another offensive remark.