Jeremy Clarkson’s future is to be decided solely by director-general Tony Hall.
RadioTimes.com understands that the BBC boss has made it clear that the decision over Clarkson will be made by Hall alone in his capacity as the Corporation’s editor-in-chief.
This follows reported tensions between Hall and the BBC’s director of television Danny Cohen, who is thought to have pushed for harsher sanctions against Clarkson when dealing with Top Gear controversies over the past twelve months, but been overruled.
The inquiry is thought to have taken place in various locations around London, partly in a bid to avoid the scrutiny of press photographers. Last week Clarkson was spotted emerging from the Ritz hotel in London, but the BBC insist that the upmarket venue was not one of the locations for the inquiry.
It is understood that MacQuarrie’s remit does not include recommending potential sanctions against Clarkson, which will solely be the preserve of Hall as the Corporation’s editor-in-chief.
Clarkson is alleged to have punched producer Oisin Tymon in a hotel in Yorkshire during filming of an episode of Top Gear.
The most obvious fallout would be a refusal by the BBC to renew Clarkson’s contract, although the details of his deal with the Corporation are not fully known. It is believed that the presenter’s contract expires this month.
The BBC declined to say when the decision about Clarkson’s future would be made, or give any time frame. In a statement issued last week the BBC said the inquiry’s findings would not be published until this week. “Once this has been considered, we will set out any further steps,” the Corporation added.
A decision is expected this week though is unlikely to come today [Monday] according to insiders. Yet other sources confirm that the Corporation wants it taken as quickly as possible, not least because of the financial implications.
Clarkson, along with co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond, was due to appear in live events in Stavanger, Norway, on March 27th and 28th. But the shows have now been postponed as Clarkson’s disciplinary inquiry into allegedly punching Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon is unfinished.
The presenters were set to put on four shows over two days in Stavanger’s Somarka Arena, which has a capacity of about 6,500 seats. More than 20,000 of the 26,000 available tickets are understood to have been sold.
“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,” read a statement.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.