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Jeremy Clarkson 'Fracas' Update: BBC Investigation Nearly Complete, Fellow ‘Top Gear’ Hosts Stand in Solidarity

( [email protected] ) Mar 20, 2015 12:11 PM EDT
The British Broadcasting Corp. has announced that they have completed their investigation into the “fracas” incident that led to the suspension of Jeremy Clarkson, who may learn his fate as soon as next week. In addition, fellow ‘Top Gear’ presenters Richard Hammond and James May have stood in solidarity for him, refusing to shoot any more episodes unless Clarkson joined them again.
Football - Chelsea v Paris St Germain - UEFA Champions League Second Round Second Leg - Stamford Bridge, London, England - 11/3/15 Jeremy Clarkson watches from the stands. Reuters / Stefan Wermuth

The British Broadcasting Corp. has announced that they have completed their investigation into the "fracas" incident that led to the suspension of Jeremy Clarkson, who may learn his fate as soon as next week. In addition, fellow 'Top Gear' presenters Richard Hammond and James May have stood in solidarity for him, refusing to shoot any more episodes unless Clarkson joined them again.

According to a report from BBC News, Director General Tony Hall will look into the results next week of an internal investigation conducted by leader Ken MacQuarrie, the director of BBC Scotland. A BBC spokesman said that they are "now considering the evidence."

"Once this has been considered, we will set out any further steps," the BBC spokesman said. "The BBC will not be offering further commentary until then."

BBC News reported that Clarkson was suspended from the internationally popular car show on March 10 following an alleged altercation with producer Oisin Tymon. Based on what is known so far, Clarkson reported the incident himself, and Tymon has not filed any formal complaint.

Tymon's lawyer told BBC News that his client "intends to await the outcome of the BBC investigation and will make no comment until that investigation is complete."

However, Camilla Turner of The Telegraph reported that Clarkson attempted to apologize to Tymon about the incident both in person and via email. However, a source noted that Clarkson had to "walk away" after failing to reach the producer for "five minutes."

According to Mark Jefferies of the Mirror, the BBC wanted to finish the current series of "Top Gear" while Clarkson remained under suspension by the broadcaster. A BBC executive revealed to Jefferies that discussions took place with the idea that Hammond and May would film the studio parts, while the rest of the episodes would be filled out by mostly recorded segments.

"They didn't want to do it without Jeremy so the talks didn't get off the ground," the BBC executive said. "There is a feeling that it is all of them or none of them."

However, May denied reports to Turner that he and Hammond turned down the opportunity to finish the current series of "Top Gear" without Clarkson.

"It's not true," May said. "No one has ever asked me if I was going to do it, there was never any suggestion that we were going to do it. So I've never had an opportunity to refuse to do it."

May added that the idea was "completely new to me," noting that he did not "know where it's come from."

Jefferies reported that the final decision in regards to Clarkson's fate will be decided by Hall, not director Danny Cohen. The unnamed BBC executive claimed that Cohen was being pressured to wrap up the probe.

"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 executive said. "Danny is getting on with his job as best he can, but it is not easy."

The BBC executive told Jefferies that the incident between Tymon and Clarkson has placed the broadcaster "between a rock and a hard place in all of this."

"There is no way everyone is going to be happy whatever is decided," the BBC executive said.

BBC News reported that "Top Gear" had an estimated global audience of 350 million people and was considered one of the BBC's most popular and profitable TV shows. Before the incident, Clarkson, Hammond and May were due to "renegotiate their contracts with the BBC next month."

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