The final episodes of the new Top Gear season are nearly complete, with just a few remaining studio segments required to make them ready for broadcast. However, Richard Hammond and James May have refused to record without the reinstatement of Jeremy Clarkson.

That’s the latest coming from UK publication Mirror, which cites an unidentified BBC executive who revealed discussions around filming the remaining bits with 2/3 of the regular cast. 

“They didn’t want to do it without Jeremy so the talks didn’t get off the ground,” the source is quoted as saying. “There is a feeling that it is all of them or none of them.”

Clarkson was suspended earlier this month following an incident at a Yorkshire hotel with producer Oisin Tymon. Allegedly, punches were thrown over the lack of a hot meal after a day of filming, with Tymon supposedly walking away with a split lip. An internal investigation is currently underway.

The quarrel comes on the heels of multiple controversies involving the TG host, resulting in the BBC issuing Clarkson a “final warning” last year. 

According to Mirror, BBC Director General Tony Hall will have the final word on Clarkson’s fate. 

“We must play everything with a straight bat but it is very frustrating while Clarkson’s friends continue to pour pressure on the BBC,” the insider source added. “There is no way everyone is going to be happy whatever is decided.”

An online petition calling for Clarkson’s return has recently breached one million signatures.

Continue reading to learn more about why Richard Hammond and James May refuse to film.

Why it matters

It’s interesting to see Hammond and May support their colleague in this matter, and not necessarily from the point of view of placing blame. When you get down to it, a Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson would be, well, terrible. And that’s not a slight against the other two co-hosts – what makes the show so good is the interplay between the three of them. A replacement would be equally as awful.

But considering the tremendous loss in viewership that no new Top Gear represents for the BBC, my guess is that Clarkson will be back for at least the rest of this season. Whether or not there will be a season 23, however, remains disconcertingly uncertain.

Source: Mirror

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