BBC announced it will not be renewing the contract of Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson after he verbally and physically assaulted a member of the production crew on March 4th.
Clarkson has been the face of the hugely popular TV show for 27 years.
His antics and controversial statements are now well documented; however, in the past BBC chose to look the other way. This time around, serious discipline was in order. Since Clarkson's contract was due at the end of the month, BBC opted not to renew it.
“The BBC must now look to renew Top Gear for 2016. This will be a big challenge and there is no point in pretending otherwise. I have asked Kim Shillinglaw to look at how best we might take this forward over the coming months. I have also asked her to look at how we put out the last programmes in the current series,” BBC said in a statement.
Things could get complicated as reports indicate that the show's two other hosts, James May and Richard Hammond, won't resume shooting without Clarkson. While it would be extremely tough to replace all three, cancelling a show that earns BBC an estimated €65 million a year would prove even harder.
London's Telegraph claims that radio personality Chris Evans is BBC's top replacement candidate. At the same time, a petition demanding the return of Clarkson so far has received over one million names.