Just in case you recently recovered from a coma or something and were wondering why there’s no new Top Gear this week, here’s the story so far: l
Last Tuesday, TG presenter and celebrated power-enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson was suspended by the BBC following a “fracas” at a North Yorkshire hotel. Clarkson reportedly got into it with a producer when he was told about the menu options (or lack thereof) after a day of filming. An internal investigation into the incident is currently underway, leaving the popular motoring show’s future in doubt. An online petition calling for Clarkson’s return is currently approaching one million signatures. 

The controversy has blocked episodes of the new season from making it on the air, but according to a recent report from UK-based publication driving, that won’t be the case for much longer. Citing an unidentified source within the BBC, driving says the corporation will broadcast remaining episodes regardless of the investigation’s outcome. Speaking to driving, the source is quoted as saying, “These aren’t going to be the Nixon tapes.”

One segment from this week’s missing episode has the presenters buying classic 1970s convertibles, which puts Clarkson into a Fiat 124 Spider, James May into a Peugeot 304 and Richard Hammond into an MGB GT. driving is also reporting plans for a bonus episode later this spring that will pit the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari in a track battle for hybrid-hypercar supremacy. 

Continue reading to learn more about BBC’s plans for Top Gear.

Why it matters

This is definitely not the first time Jeremy Clarkson has been mired in controversy. In 2003, Clarkson reportedly threatened and threw a glass of water at Piers Morgan, editor for the Daily Mirror at the time, after the publication released photos of Clarkson getting friendly with a woman who happened to not be his wife. The two confronted each other a year later, resulting in a broken finger for the TG host after he punched Morgan in the temple.

Last year, outtakes from a TG episode portrayed Clarkson using racially charged language, resulting in reprimands.

Apparently, the BBC threatened to fire him if there were any further incidents.

But here’s the thing: the BCC is losing viewers with this whole “fracas” debacle. To be perfectly frank, I’m not entirely certain why the corporation chose to keep the new episodes from the air. What exactly is the point? To punish Clarkson? The only real result I see is a bunch of pissed off fans.

Top Gear has been around for 22 seasons. It’s beloved the world over, even if it occasionally gets a bit rough around the edges with political incorrectness. The show has spawned no fewer than five international spin-offs. It’s got live stadium events and a hugely popular magazine.

Is this the end of Top Gear? I suppose it’s possible, but I doubt it. Even if he is a bit of an ape, Clarkson is still outrageously entertaining. And, most importantly for the top brass at the BBC, he’s also tremendously profitable.

Source: driving

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