So, sometimes awkward breakups happen, things are said and done that just can’t be taken back. Well, Jeremy Clarkson’s tumultuous severance with the BBC back in 2015 was no different. It would have been bad enough, if the BBC hadn’t asked Clarkson to return to Top Gear in the midst of it all.
After hosting the biggest car show in the world, perhaps biggest show period, for a period of 13 years, he had an altercation with one of the show’s producers. The fight was over dinner, and has been covered extensively, so we won’t go into that.
Following the incident, Clarkson was fired by the BBC director general Tony Hall, and replaced by Chris Evans. The decision caused an uproar from fans, and at one point Clarkson fired back, “I hope Chris enjoys running what, for the next couple of weeks, is the world’s biggest car show.”
Week’s later, we heard of Clarkson’s talks with Amazon, who intended to pick up the talented presenter, and give him anything he wanted. Of course, the other hosts from Top Gear’s golden days came with Clarkson, and they started The Grand Tour. However, there was apparently some uncertainty to that.
According to Clarkson, he “had a meeting with a BBC executive… and they asked if I’d come back to Top Gear.”
Too much has gone on. After I’d been compared to Jimmy Savile by someone from the BBC and it was splashed all over a Sunday newspaper, how could I go back?
This comes as a surprise to anyone who assumed the BBC was acting while their hands were tied. The general impression back then was that, because there was a physical aspect to the situation, Clarkson had to be fired.
There’s no telling what the terms or stipulations were, but it would have undeniably never have been acceptable for Clarkson. Now, we have The Grand Tour to show for it, which is a clear evolution from the old show.