Jeremy Clarkson Will Return To BBC; But Not Top Gear
Well, that didn’t take very long, did it? UK publication Mirror is reporting that only one month after being fired from Top Gear, power lover and hot-meal activist Jeremy Clarkson will make his return to the BBC with an April 24th appearance as guest host on the comedy panel show Have I Got News For You, prompting rumors of a comeback.
Details of the appearance were settled prior to the one-time cohost’s firing, but were called into question after Clarkson allegedly assaulted TG producer Oisin Tymon last month at a North Yorkshire hotel. Clarkson was suspended and eventually sacked following an internal investigation by the BBC, despite an online petition with over a million signatures calling for his return. It will be his first time back on television since the March 8th airing of Top Gear.
Big wigs within the BBC took several weeks to decide whether or not Clarkson should be allowed back, with a BBC spokeswoman eventually telling Mirror that “Jeremy’s contract has not been renewed on Top Gear but he isn’t banned from appearing on the BBC.”
Cohosts Richard Hammond and James May have refused to continue filming without Clarkson. The show’s fate, including the remaining episodes of season 22, remains uncertain.
Continue reading to learn more about Jeremy Clarkson return to the BBC.
Why it matters
Personally, it was a huge surprise when I learned that the BBC had decided to fire Clarkson. I thought there would be a penalty, maybe an extension of the suspension, but I certainly didn’t think he’d be let go permanently.
I say that not because I support or sympathize with his (alleged) actions, but because without Clarkson, there really isn’t a Top Gear (a sentiment that Hammond, May, and legions of fans would seem to agree with). That means the BBC is left without one of its highest-rated and most-watched programs. For me, it’s a a matter of economics, not morality.
Does this April 24th appearance indicate future employment opportunities at the BBC? At this point, it’s uncertain. The trio will continue to perform live TG events, although stripped of all BBC branding, but whether or not there’s a new television program in the works is pure speculation.
However, given his huge fan base, I don’t see how any sensible organization could turn a blind eye to Clarkson’s potential for reeling in viewers. In fact, this whole debacle probably would have boosted ratings if the show were allowed to continue.