Controversial presenter Jeremy Clarkson did not have his contract renewed by the British Broadcasting Corp. after an internal report revealed that he verbally and physically attacked a producer. Now his childhood friend and "Top Gear" executive producer Andy Wilman has left the show after that fallout.
Matt Hardigree of Jalopnik managed to obtain an email that Wilman sent to current and former staff behind the internationally popular show on Monday. Wilman's message confirmed that he was also done working for the BBC, noting that "at least we left 'em wanting more."
"When you think about it, is quite an achievement for a show that started 13 years ago," Wilman wrote. "I know none of us wanted it to end this way, but for a moment I'd like us to look back and think about just what an incredible thing you all had a hand in creating."
Wilman mentioned that back in 2002, Jane Root allowed him to "reinvigorate a car show and get an audience of three million."
"What you all ended up making was one of the most iconic programs in TV history, a show about cars that went global, won countless awards, was devoured by non-car fans and ended up in the Guinness Book of Records," Wilman wrote.
The show's executive producer elaborated on both the good and bad experiences that he and everyone at "Top Gear" endured. He expressed gratitude to everyone who worked behind the scenes of the popular BBC program.
"The work ethic never slipped, the desire for everyone in this dysfunctional family to do right by the show never faltered," Wilman wrote. "Jeremy, Richard and James, as the visible tip of the iceberg, got most of the attention and praise, but you all in your own fields had such an immense hand in weaving this unforgettable tapestry."
Wilman emphasized that he was just merely one of the "guardians of Top Gear," adding that he, alongside Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, "were only part of the show's history, not the whole of it."
"Anyway, when you're feeling low in your working day at any point, look around at some of the crap on TV, then have a think about Top Gear, 2002- 2015, and say to yourself: 'I made that,'" Wilman wrote. "A big, big, big thank you, which will never be enough."
According to Hardigree, Wilman's leaked email was proof that the BBC planned to continue production of "Top Gear" in the future. In addition, Ben Collins, who once played the show's tame racing driver known as The Stig, also received this email; Hardigree noted that he had public fallout with the show before his departure.
The departure of Wilman, along with Clarkson's contract not being renewed, has disappointed many "Top Gear" fans, with some of them going on social media to express their frustrations. In addition, BBC News reported that British police are looking into death threats allegedly made against the broadcaster's director general, Tony Hall, who was behind the decision to let the controversial presenter and journalist go.
"Police in Westminster are investigating an allegation of threats to kill," a Met Police spokesman said. "The allegation was reported to police on Wednesday, 25 March. The threat was made by email."
According to BBC News, Hall made the decision not to renew Clarkson's contract after an incident between him and producer Oisin Tymon occurred, insisting that "a line has been crossed." Even Tymon has faced online threats and abuse due to his involvement in the dispute.
"Clarkson asked fans to show restraint," BBC News reported after Clarkson learned of the online harassment aimed at Tymon.