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Future of 'Top Gear' in Doubt as BBC Cancels Live Shows in Norway; Jeremy Clarkson to File Lawsuit If He’s sacked

( [email protected] ) Mar 23, 2015 11:28 AM EDT
The British Broadcasting Corp. has cancelled live shows in Norway related to its highly popular show “Top Gear” as the broadcaster tries to figure out host Jeremy Clarkson’s fate this week. The controversial presenter also indicated that he would sue if the BBC decided to sack him.
Jeremy Clarkson. Photo: Top Gear

The British Broadcasting Corp. has cancelled live shows in Norway related to its highly popular show "Top Gear" as the broadcaster tries to figure out host Jeremy Clarkson's fate this week. The controversial presenter also indicated that he would sue if the BBC decided to sack him.

According to Patrick Foster of Radio Times, hosts Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond were scheduled to appear on "Top Gear Live" events in Norway on March 27 and 28. The BBC originally scheduled four shows over a two-day period in the Norwegian city of Stavanger.

"Top Gear Live regrets to inform ticket holders for next week's shows in Stavanger, Norway that we will be postponing all four performances, with rescheduled dates for later this year to be confirmed within the next fortnight," the BBC said in a statement. "We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this will cause fans and we will endeavor to contact all ticket holders directly to inform them of the change of dates."

The BBC added in its statement that "all other Top Gear Live dates will run as scheduled." Foster reported that the next series of live shows will take place in Sydney on April 18 and 19.

As for Clarkson's fate, the internationally famous automotive journalist told Nigel Pauley of the Sunday Mirror that he has been "put on silent" over the alleged fracas between "Top Gear" producer Oisin Tymon, 36, and himself. The 54-year-old presenter plans to sue the BBC if he is sacked over that incident.

"I've been put on silence," Clarkson said exclusively to the Sunday Mirror. "There are very good reasons from my point of view why I simply can't say a word."

Unnamed sources close to Clarkson told Pauley that Clarkson would take legal action if the report compiled by BBC Scotland chief Ken MacQuarrie finds grounds for the presenter to be fired.

"There is no doubt that if Jeremy is fired, it won't be the end of it," one insider said. "Lawyers will be involved."

The insider also told the Mirror that Clarkson was furious over comments made by "a high ranking BBC staffer" that compared him to the late Jimmy Savile, who was infamously known for molesting women and children during his tenure as a BBC presenter.

"Jeremy believes BBC executives launched a smear campaign against him ahead of the independent inquiry," the insider said. "He won't let that go."

According to Pauley, 45-year-old Hammond and 52-year-old May could also take legal action if the BBC cancels "Top Gear" altogether. Both hosts have refused to finish the rest of the current series without Clarkson.

"It is very much an all-for-one and one-for-all attitude," an unnamed source familiar with the situation said. "Their future is very much tied up in Jeremy's. Without him, there is no Top Gear and effectively no work for them."

Both Hammond and May went on Twitter to describe what they were doing while waiting for the BBC to decide their colleague's fate.

"Woodwork tasks today," May wrote on Twitter. "Being jobless allows you to revisit old interests, learn new things, and listen to the radio more. Sold the telly."

"Right, it's spring," Hammond wrote on Twitter, including a picture of an Opel Kadett that he named Oliver in the "Top Gear" Botswana Special. "Which can only mean one thing. Flat battery."

According to Radio Times, the inquiry looking into Clarkson's fate would not be published by the BBC until next week.

"Once this has been considered, we will set out any further steps," the BBC said in a statement last week.

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